Look away Liverpool fans, Owen tips Manchester United for a higher finish

The former England striker, who played for both clubs, believes Louis Van Gaal's men will finish above the Reds in the Premier League.

Michael Owen is no stranger to Manchester United or Liverpool.

After eight years at Anfield, the England striker ended up making a controversial switch to Old Trafford in 2009 (following spells at Real Madrid and Newcastle).

And now, the 34-year-old footballer turned pundit has sided with United once again - in his Premier League predictions for the new season.

Indeed, Owen has tipped Louis van Gaal's side to finish third in the league this term, while he has backed Liverpool to make the top four - but a place behind in fourth.

Writing on Sportlobster, he said of Man United: "Despite the squad being in desperate need of reinforcements, I can't see United finishing out of the top 3.

"Rather like Liverpool last season, United have no European distractions which enables them to focus solely on making up for last season's dismal league finishing position.

"With Louis Van Gaal settling in quickly and confidence flowing again following a solid pre-season, I expect the Red Devils to be fighting it out with the big boys at the business end of the season. Things could get very interesting should they sign a top class defender before the transfer window closes."

And, of Brendan Rodgers' side, Owen wrote: "Following the departure of Louis [sic] Suarez, all eyes will be on the Reds to see whether they can emulate last season's heroics.

"With the added games that Champions League football brings, I think a top 4 finish wouldn't be the end of the world for Brendan Rodgers as he continues to plot Liverpool's path to the summit of the Premier League.

"Some solid summer signings offer fans hope of a crack at the title but it may take more than a season to plug the gap left by one of the best players the Premier League has ever seen."

Both clubs won their final pre-season friendlies, Liverpool beating Borussia Dortmund 4-0 while United won 2-0 against Valencia, and will open their Premier League campaigns this weekend.

Manchester United kick the league season off against against Swansea City on Saturday lunchtime, with Liverpool hosting Southampton the following day.

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