Soccer Premier League

Manchester United Desperate to Stop the Rot

United are in serious danger of finishing outside the top three for the first time since the Premier League began.

LONDON - Striker Danny Welbeck admits that Manchester United face missing out on the top four and Champions League qualification, and urged his side to get back on track against Swansea City tomorrow.

Swansea beat United at Old Trafford in the FA cup last Saturday - the middle of three straight 2-1 defeats for United this season - and, while the club and fans remain largely behind manager David Moyes, the pressure is mounting.

“I can understand why the fans are concerned,” said Welbeck. “We’re not around the Champions League spots at the moment. We need to get our form back and just win the next matches.

“Losing three on the bounce is really not good enough and we want to put that right. I can’t pinpoint one thing why this is happening. We were champions last season and we know that the consistency in our game has not been good enough.

“It’s a new experience for us all, but the main thing we have to do is look at the next game. We have to put it right but you can’t look too far ahead. It’s over 10 years since United lost three in a row, so we know we have to turn it around and win the next match.”

United stand five points off fourth place and are in serious danger of finishing outside the top three for the first time since the Premier League began.

Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand will miss Saturday’s game through injury, and Wayne Rooney is a major doubt.

Leaders Arsenal should have centre-forward Olivier Giroud back for Monday’s game at Aston Villa, the side that beat Arsenal 3-1 on the opening day of the season. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in training but the game will come too soon for him.

Manchester City are at Newcastle United on Sunday. Forward Sergio Aguero is back in training but is unlikely to be ready.

Chelsea could go top on Saturday if they win away to Hull City, while Liverpool travel to Stoke City.

At the bottom, the big game sees Fulham host a Sunderland side buoyed by Tuesday’s Capital One Cup win over Manchester United, while West Ham United, after 5-0 and 6-0 defeats in the cups this week, go to Cardiff City for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first league game as manager.

Elsewhere, Everton host Norwich, Tottenham Hotspur entertain Crystal Palace, and West Brom go to Southampton.