Gary Neville has told Sky Sports that Manchester United will finish in the top four of the Premier League this season.
Louis van Gaal’s side are currently third in the league table with 43 points from 23 matches, just a point above fourth-placed Southampton.
Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and West Ham United are all within just seven points of United, which suggests that the race for a top-four finish will go down to the wire.
United legend Neville, though, is confident that the Red Devils will end up in a Champions League place, highlighting a favourable factor.
“The Hammers are a difficult side to play at Upton Park, but the reason I feel confident about United finishing in the top four is that Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs have European commitments,” the 39-year-old told Sky Sports.
“Those sides will come through that period with difficult games after European games and United have got free weeks…
“I think because of the run they’ve got, in terms of no European commitments, I do think they got enough, with Arsenal, to finish in the top four, along with Chelsea and (Manchester) City.”
Neville’s argument about no European commitments will play in favour of United cannot be dismissed.
While Arsenal are involved in the Champions League, Tottenham and Liverpool will feature in the Europa League.
In fact, Spurs and Liverpool do have a chance and the ambition to go all the way and win the prestigious competition.
Although both Arsenal and Tottenham have large squad, one suspects that their respective managers will always try to play the best available players.
However, playing in Europe against top opposition will also make the Arsenal and Tottenham players better.
After all, winning against a top team in Europe in midweek is going to have a positive effect on the mentality of the players.