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Van Gaal says Manchester United must win out to finish top-four

Manchester United v Watford - Premier League

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: Louis van Gaal Manager of Manchester United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Watford at Old Trafford on March 2, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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Manchester United dropped to sixth on the Premier League table this weekend, falling to West Bromwich Albion 1-0 on Sunday.

The Red Devils now sit three points behind fourth-place Manchester City, although City has played one less match than United.

[ MORE: Premier League standings ]

With a spot in the top-four necessary for United to clinch a spot in the Champions League next season, manager Louis van Gaal knows his side’s chances are slipping away.

Speaking after the West Brom loss, LVG was asked how many points United would need to fight for a top-four finish.

Van Gaal’s answer was simple: 27.

With nine matches to play, van Gaal believes United must win out to assure a spot in the top-four. If United were to finish the season with nine wins on the spin, they would end the campaign with 74 points. Last season they finished fourth with 70 points.

[ RELATED: Benteke’s stoppage-time penalty lifts Liverpool over Palace ]

United still has upcoming league matches against Leicester, Tottenham, and Manchester City, so they will have opportunities to make up some points on the teams ahead of them. However, finishing the year with nine consecutive wins is near impossible as Sunday’s loss at West Brom saw valuable points dropped for the Red Devils.