Former England international Michael Owen has dismissed three of the Premier League's most high profile teams as 'poor'.
The retired strike made the comments to BT Sport, claiming Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United could yet miss out on the Champions League places, with a surprise making it in.
"Third and fourth this season's are anybody's. I think they can make it but on current performance, current level f form I think it'll be a struggle.
"If there's any league season where there's going to be a dark horse it's going to be this season. Chelsea are very very good, City are decent at the moment.
"And the rest of them, Liverpool are poor, United are poor, Arsenal are poor, compared to previous seasons. It could be any one of eight teams."
None of the three teams have excelled early on, with United and Arsenal struck badly by injuries, and Liverpool missing key man Daniel Sturridge.
The club's respective problems have been amplified by runaway leaders Chelsea, who appear already as though only Manchester City can catch them.
Southampton's strong early form has seen plenty sit up and take notice, but Owen may come to regret his comments regarding United in particular, who have put together three wins in a row for the first time under Louis van Gaal and are beginning to look anything but 'poor'.