McAteer confident Liverpool will finish above Man United again

Jason McAteer is backing Liverpool to finish above Manchester United for the second season running.

Former Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer has backed his old side to finish above Manchester United for the second consecutive season.

The Reds have only finished above United twice during the Premier League era. Last season saw United's worst since the league was formed in 1992, as they finished in seventh place under David Moyes.

Liverpool, by contrast, had their best league showing in five years by finishing two points behind eventual champions Manchester City, and 20 points clear of their fierce rivals.

A lot has been said about Liverpool's lack of European football last season contributing to their unexpected strong league showing. Now the boot is on the other foot with United not having European commitments for a season under a new manager in Louis van Gaal, a man who has a very good pedigree.

But McAteer feels that despite Liverpool's extra games this season and United likely to be a bit more fresh for their league encounters, Liverpool can finish above their fierce rivals for only the third time in the Premier League era.

He told TalkSport: “Liverpool will finish above Manchester United this season.

Man United have a good set of fixtures though and, by October, they will have only one of the top four from last season.

“They should be sitting top of the league table at the end of October. Liverpool have got a bigger squad though.”

One of the challenges Liverpool will face this season is how they manage to juggle competing on the domestic front with their European commitments - which has seen them make several additions to the squad. Another challenge will be trying to get them to gel.

The interesting point is that Liverpool now have a bigger squad. United still have plenty of resources so they can add to their squad, but it isn't badly equipped for the season ahead, though there will be areas where van Gaal will want to strengthen before the transfer window closes.

The bookies don't seem to agree with McAteer's opinion if the title odds are anything to go by. Liverpool are priced up as fifth favourites and as long as 12/1, whilst Manchester United are best priced at 5/1. 

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