Rio Ferdinand predicts where Man United are going to finish
Rio Ferdinand explains why he's tipping Man United to finish in the Premier League's top four this season
Rio Ferdinand is tipping Manchester United to “comfortably” finish in the top four as the Red Devils look to seal their spot in the Champions League for next season.
The Red Devils have been showing signs of progress this season under their new manager Erik ten Hag and they currently find themselves third in the table and only three points behind second-placed Manchester City.
Manchester United have won three of their last five games in the top flight and are bidding to seal a top-four finish to guarantee their place in Europe’s elite club competition for next season.
The Red Devils are also bidding to win their first piece of silverware under Ten Hag, with United set to take on Newcastle United in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday 26 February.
Ex-Manchester United defender Ferdinand feels that Ten Hag’s side are well-placed to finish third in the league this season following their promising signs of progress under their new boss.
Speaking to William Hill, Ferdinand said: “I think Manchester United will finish in the top four quite comfortably now.
“A lot of the other clubs around them aren’t being as consistent as them, while United have been picking up results.
“They’re still a bit off Arsenal and Manchester City, but I can see United finishing in that third spot in the Premier League this season, tying that up and really making that position their own.
“Having qualified for the League Cup final last week, that should give United plenty of confidence going into the coming games, knowing they have that to look forward to.
“Players will now be playing for their position as everyone wants to play in a final, so no player can afford to drop their form or take their foot off the gas.
“Every game is an audition now to get in that starting XI. So I’m sure all of them will be going for their positions and hoping to start in the final, which will raise competition in the team.”
Manchester United have the opportunity to move level on points with second-placed Manchester City on Wednesday night when they take on Leeds United at Old Trafford.
Recent history certainly doesn’t make good reading for the Whites, who have only won one of their last 17 Premier League meetings with the Red Devils.
The Red Devils will take on Leeds United once again in the league this weekend – at Elland Road on Sunday – and Ten Hag is aware of the threat posed by the Whites, who have just parted ways with manager Jesse Marsch.
“We have to go from game to game,” said Ten Hag. “It is a big week for us, as twice we face a rival team and we have to be ready for that.
“It gives a different emotion, always when you play against rivals, so we have to be [on the] front foot and be ready for the game. We have to be well prepared but also giving off good energy and look forward to facing them.”
Asked about the impact of Marsch leaving Elland Road, Ten Hag replied: “It will always have an impact. But also it has to be about us and how he deal with that. Are we proactive? Are we anticipating?
“If we do that, we have a good chance to win the game. It will be close and we will have to give everything. Nothing is easy in football, especially games between rivals are not easy, they are never close games. You have to be [at] your best.”