Former Arsenal attacker Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that Manchester United will not finish in the top four of the Premier League this season.
The 56-year-old believes that Chelsea will win the title, Manchester City will finish second, Arsenal will come third and Liverpool will end up fourth.
“Chelsea are a good, good team, and I’d be shocked if Chelsea threw this away,” Merson told Sky Sports on Wednesday.
“Arsenal do it every year,” added the former England international. “When things get really tight at the end, they always finish well.
“After that, I think Liverpool will finish above Man United, they are flying at the moment. Daniel Sturridge is back and will be fresh for the final 10 games. That makes a massive difference.”
According to current form, Merson’s top-four prediction could come true. Arsenal and Liverpool have great momentum and are giving convincing performances (more or less).
Manchester United are picking up points, but their displays are far from perfect, and question marks remain on their defence.
However, it would not be wise to write off the Red Devils' chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League this campaign.
Despite all the criticisms and disappointing performances, Louis van Gaal's side are fourth in the table, just a point behind third-placed Arsenal and only five behind second-placed Manchester City.
United, though, will not have it easy in the final three months of the season. The Manchester outfit have to face Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool this month, Manchester City and Chelsea in April, and Arsenal in May.
One must also consider Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur are genuine top-four challengers.
The Saints are very much in the running despite their recent poor results, while Spurs returned to winning ways on Wednesday.
Both Southampton and Tottenham have shown this season that they are not going to be easy pushovers, and that they can bounce back from disappointments.
Perhaps given the stature of Liverpool and United, they are being backed by many football followers and pundits to finish ahead of Spurs and the Saints, but nothing can be said for sure this season, other than that the race for the third and fourth spots will go down to the wire.