DAVID MOYES questioned the ‘integrity’ of the Premier League as Manchester United play two of West Ham’s Champions League rivals within 48 hours.
The Hammers are battling to finish inside the top four and are currently fifth, five points off Leicester and one clear of Liverpool who have a game in hand.
David Moyes is not happy Manchester United play both Leicester and Liverpool within 48 hoursCredit: Eddie Keogh Telegraph Media Group
But both sides must travel to Old Trafford this week in what could prove a critical few days determining who qualifies for the Champions League.
Leicester head to United tomorrow for a 6pm kick-off before Liverpool make the trip across the M62 to play at 8.15pm on Thursday night.
That will be United’s fourth game in a week following the Europa League game at Roma and yesterday’s comeback victory at Aston Villa.
And former Red Devils boss Moyes is understandably unhappy with the scheduling which will likely see weakened United sides in the upcoming matches.
Asked about any integrity issues, he said: “The Premier League should be answering these questions.
“It was really interesting when we were coming back (from the coronavirus lockdown), a lot was made about integrity.
“Ole can do what he likes with his team, but I don’t know if there was a better way to sort the fixtures out.
“Manchester United can always put out a strong team.”
However, West Ham did not help themselves in their top-four hunt with a 1-0 defeat at home to Everton.
Moyes added: “Our chances of the Champions League are looking slim, but we’ll keep fighting.
“I’d set my target and I knew where we had to go, and defeat might be costly for us but you never know in football, we might be saying something different in time.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also furious that his players are being forced to play so frequently – the issue exacerbated by last week’s clash with Liverpool postponed following the anti-Glazer protests.
West Ham’s defeat did confirm their top-four finish this season but his side still have a Europa League final to come and the Premier League title race is not officially over.
The Norwegian promised he would need to rotate the squad to try and avoid players getting injured.
Speaking after the Roma second leg, he said: “We’ve been dealt a very bad hand by people who sit behind a desk in suits who never play football or understand what this is about.
“I’ve got to look after the players, that’s the biggest thing.
“Two games in three days after a long season, with all the games we’ve had, even more difficult. Three games in five days, very very difficult, almost impossible. Four games in eight, it is impossible.
“We cannot risk injury for players and that’s too much of an injury risk.
“I’ve got to think about my players but I know there will be teams fighting for the Champions League places that will not think that’s Manchester United’s best team, in that team that’s not the best players.
“That might affect whoever gets into the fourth position or the Champions League. That’s not my problem. That’s everyone else’s problem.
“I can promise you that it’s impossible to play 90 minutes at this intensity, at that level in the Premier League four times from Thursday to Thursday. That means I cannot play everyone every minute which means we’ve got to prioritise.”
And Solskjaer’s fears were realised when Harry Maguire limped off at Villa Park with an ankle injury – and is now a doubt to face Villarreal in Gdansk on May 26.
Harry Maguire suffered an injury against Aston Villa and is now a doubt for the Europa League finalCredit: EPA
Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp are battling it out to secure Champions League footballCredit: Getty
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