Burma Times: 22 March 2015
Manchester United will fail to qualify for the Champions League due to a difficult season run in, claim BT Sport’s pundits.
Owen Hargreaves, David James and Steve McManaman were on BT Sport ahead of Manchester City’s match with West Brom and the trio all picked Chelsea as Premier League champions with Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool completing their top four.
However Louis van Gaal’s side, who visit Anfield on Sunday afternoon, have been on a respectable run of recent form whereas neighbours Manchester City have faltered in their past nine matches.
‘Chelsea I think will finish top. They’ve strengthened their team better than anybody else and they’ll prove they’re the best, which they have been all season,’ said Owen Hargreaves at the Etihad Stadium.
Fellow pundit Steve Mcmanaman insisted Manchester City’s three wins in their past nine games was only a blip and they’ll finish at least second:
‘I think it will be a monumental slip of concentration and huge slip up from City, but I’m sure they’ll be fine,’ McManaman told BT Sport.
However the BT pundits all declared that Manchester United will miss out on Champions League football again next season.
Louis van Gaal’s side face Champions League rivals Chelsea, Manchester City Arsenal and Liverpool before the season concludes.
‘Manchester United have the hardest run in of the lot. Before today (Saturday) I would have said that they would finish fourth but looking through all the fixtures, I really think it favours Liverpool,’ added Hargreaves.
‘As much as it pains me to say, I think they’re going to struggle to finish in the top four with those remaining fixtures.’
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side host United on Sunday in what will surely be a pivotal clash in the race for the top four:
‘ I completely agree with Owen. Manchester United’s fixtures are very difficult. Liverpool have a huge game tomorrow (Sunday). They’re at home, they have the advantage, they have the form,’ said McManaman.
‘If they win on Sunday I think it will cement them even more in the Champions League places. With their run in I think Liverpool will finish in the top four.’