Juan Mata backs Man United to pip Man City to second place

Juan Mata believes that Manchester United can finish above Manchester City in the Premier League this season

Juan Mata believes that Manchester United can beat Manchester City to a second-placed finish in the Premier League this season.

The Red Devils are currently fourth in the Premier League table heading into Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa at Old Trafford but are just two points behind the defending champions.

Louis van Gaal’s side take on local rivals City at Old Trafford next weekend and could move above Manuel Pellegrini’s men with a victory if results go their way.

And Mata is convinced that United have what it takes to finish above their rivals as Van Gaal looks to guide his side back into the Champions League.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Mata said: “We are one point and two points from City and Arsenal and I think we can do it.

“We can even be second if we win the direct games against them.”

Mata has been a regular fixture in United’s first-team this season, scoring eight goals in 27 games in all competitions for the Red Devils.

United have won 17 of their 30 Premier League games since Van Gaal was appointed as David Moyes’ permanent successor.

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