LEICESTER (Reuters) – Manchester United will be under more pressure than Leicester City to secure a Champions League berth as they rely on the financial rewards that come with playing in Europe’s elite competition, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said on Friday.
Fifth-placed Leicester are one point behind United and a win at the King Power Stadium on Sunday in the final Premier League game of the season will guarantee a top-four spot. United’s fate would be decided by Chelsea’s result against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
If Chelsea lose, a draw would be enough for United to qualify while Leicester will finish fourth on goal difference and return to the Champions League for the first time in three years.
“There is a difference where we want to be in the Champions League, but when you’re a club like Manchester United, there’s a need to be in the Champions League,” Rodgers told reporters.
“When you are at that level of spending… there is a need to be in there and that brings a different level of expectation.
“We want to be in it, but if we fall short, it’s still been a really good season.”
Leicester were a constant in the top four since September but a poor run of form since the restart last month has led to Rodgers’ side dropping to fifth following a 3-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in their penultimate game.
Injuries to key players such as defender Ben Chilwell and midfielder James Maddison have made their top-four chase tougher. Rodgers said that despite their troubles, the players have performed well to take the fight to the final day.
“We’ve been really unfortunate that at this crucial time we’ve lost some of the best players in the league,” he added.
“But there are not many teams who could carry those players. And it shows how good the players have been that we’re still fighting for the ultimate prize.”