Stuart Pearce predicts where Chelsea and Liverpool will finish this season

Stuart Pearce is expecting to see both Chelsea and Liverpool finish in the Premier League's top four this season

Stuart Pearce believes that Chelsea have already booked their place in the top four this season and feels that Manchester United could make a late push for Champions League qualification.

Chelsea are currently flying high at the top of the Premier League table and have established themselves as the firm favourites to win the title this season.

Manchester United, meanwhile, still have some work to do to climb the table after a stuttering start to life under new manager Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

Chelsea’s first priority this term will be to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League after their disastrous 10th-placed finish in the 2015-16 campaign.

Former Manchester City manager Pearce has given his assessment of the race for Champions League qualification ahead of the hectic festive period in the Premier League and backed Liverpool to also finish in the top four.

Speaking on Sky Sports News HQ on Monday morning, Pearce said: “I personally think Chelsea are a given to finish in the top four. If they don’t finish in the top four, they’ve had a disaster between now and the end of the season.

“Liverpool have been pretty consistent this year. They’ll finish in there. Arsenal have done it historically – you can’t bet against them.

“The only volatile one is Manchester City. Manchester United have momentum. Spurs just dropped away a little bit at the moment.”

MORE: The latest Chelsea news and views

MORE: The latest Chelsea player tweets

Mourinho has been tasked with steering Manchester United back into the Champions League after their fifth-placed finish last season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
‘Let’s see’: Fabrizio Romano makes claim about next Man United signing
Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screen grab / BT Sport)
‘He’s happy to move’: Duncan Castles says 22-year-old is keen on Chelsea FC move
Bukayo Saka
Ben White admits Arsenal star Bukayo Saka has already surprised him
Paul Pogba
Fabrizio Romano issues update on Paul Pogba's Man United future
Mikel Arteta
Fabrizio Romano: Ruben Neves is on Arsenal and Man United's transfer wish-lists
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
‘Let’s see’: Fabrizio Romano makes claim about next Man United signing
Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screen grab / BT Sport)
‘He’s happy to move’: Duncan Castles says 22-year-old is keen on Chelsea FC move
Bukayo Saka
Ben White admits Arsenal star Bukayo Saka has already surprised him
Paul Pogba
Fabrizio Romano issues update on Paul Pogba's Man United future
Mikel Arteta
Fabrizio Romano: Ruben Neves is on Arsenal and Man United's transfer wish-lists
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature