Ray Parlour predicts where Arsenal, Man United will finish

Ray Parlour is tipping Man United to finish fourth ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League table this season

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: BT Sport / Screengrab)

Ray Parlour is tipping Manchester United to finish fourth in the Premier League table ahead of Arsenal this season.

The stage is set for an enthralling race for the Champions League qualification spots this term with less than half the campaign left to play.

Arsenal are currently in fourth place in the Premier League table, with West Ham United one point behind them and Tottenham Hotspur a further point back.

Manchester United, meanwhile, are down in seventh place and are four points behind the Gunners with a game in hand following their surprise 1-0 defeat by Wolves at Old Trafford on Monday night.

Tottenham have two games in hand on Arsenal, which means that they could move four points clear of the Gunners if they win those two fixtures.

However, despite wanting to see his former side Arsenal snatch a fourth-placed finish, ex-Gunners star Parlour believes that Manchester United are the team most likely to string a run together and finish in the final Champions League qualification spot.

“If he [Rangnick] can get that little bit of a buzz around Manchester United again, they’ve got better players probably than most of the squads,” Parlour told talkSPORT before Manchester United’s loss to Wolves.

“Then you look at Spurs, I think it’s close between Spurs and Arsenal. The north London derby coming up will be massive for both sides.

“And then West Ham, you still can’t write them off. I know they had that little bit of a blip but they’ve bounced back very well against Palace and Watford. But it’s all about the transfer window for me, West Ham need a few more players coming in. Certainly a striker is desperate. They’ve really been dismantled at the back… whether they look at centre-half.

“A lot of it is going to come down to signings in January. Not just the top four, but at the bottom as well. If I’m going to stick my neck out, I would certainly go with Manchester United still [to finish fourth].”

Parlour continued: “I’m hoping Arsenal can do it, I really like the way they’re playing at the moment.

“[Thomas] Partey had his best game I’ve seen in an Arsenal shirt at the weekend [against Man City] and now he goes away on Africa Cup of Nations duty, so he’s going to be a big miss.

“Striker-wise, not got a lot of backup. [Alexandre] Lacazette if he gets injured, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang is out of the picture at the moment, they’ve got no real player that can go up there.

“[Gabriel] Martinelli can play up front but he’s probably better of the left-hand side at the moment with the way he’s playing.”

Manchester United’s hopes of finishing in the top four were dealt a blow on Monday night when they were beaten by Wolves in front of their home fans.

Joao Moutinho ended up scoring the eventual winner for the visitors in the 82nd minute to send United crashing to their sixth defeat of the season.

Following the disappointing loss, Red Devils interim boss Rangnick admitted that he cannot make “any guarantees” that United will finish in the top four this season.

“I cannot make any guarantees,” Rangnick told BBC Sport after the game. “Look at today’s performance if I say we are 100 per cent convinced we will finish in the top four I don’t know if people will believe that. For me it is about taking the next steps and getting better.

“I knew this could be and would hard but today’s game showed we still have a long way to go.”

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