Manchester United will not finish inside the Premier League top four this season and will fail to qualify for the Champions League for the second season running, according to Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have picked up four points from a possible nine so far this season – winning, drawing and losing their opening three games.
Starting the season brightly with a 4 – 0 win over Chelsea, United went on to draw 1 – 1 with Wolves before losing 2 – 1 to Crystal Palace at home at the weekend.
Former Arsenal man, Merson predicted before the campaign United would fail to make the Champions League cut, and their results and performances over the past three games have not convinced him otherwise.
“Manchester United’s opening-day win over Chelsea papered over the cracks,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“The second game at Wolves they were good in the first half. And then, on Saturday, they were Manchester United.
“You cannot lose at home to Crystal Palace. I’ve said all along that they won’t finish in the top four and I haven’t seen anything to suggest otherwise in the first three games of the season.”
In contrast to Merson’s prediction, England great Paul Gascoigne has backed United to make the top four.
When predicting the final table, he told the MEN : “Man City have got players to replace every position on the field. Tottenham don’t. Mauricio Pochettino needs to buy again in the next window and get a couple of players in.
“Liverpool are looking strong as well but I cannot see anyone stopping Man City. They are just going to keep on buying and it’s quite scary.
“I think it will be Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United (in the top four). I think Arsenal are playing good football as well.”
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