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West Ham's Bilic banks on Man United FA Cup victory

By Reuters/Nivedita Shankar   May 16, 2016 | 02:57 am PT
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic is banking on Manchester United winning the FA Cup to give his team automatic qualification for next season's Europa League.

West Ham lost 2-1 at Stoke City in their last game of the season, allowing Southampton to leapfrog them into fifth place in the Premier League standings and leaving Bilic's men seventh in the table, just outside the Europa League places.

United, in sixth place, can also qualify for the Europa League by beating Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

If they do so, a Europa League spot will become available for the team finishing seventh in the Premier League.

"It is very frustrating. For most of the season we have been there (in the Europa League qualification spot) and it looked like we were going to do it but the competition is really good," Bilic told British media.

"Overall it was a great season and we hope Man United win the FA Cup and then we will be in the qualification for the Europa League.

"There are many good teams, but of course we are not happy that we lost the position over the last three or four games."

West Ham qualified for last season's Europa League by winning the Premier League's fair play table, but lost to Romanian side FC Astra Giurgiu in the third qualifying round. 

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