Louis Saha thinks “there is time” for Man Utd to challenge for the Premier League title this season after their fairly positive start.
The Red Devils came under fire early on in the season after losing 2-1 to Brighton and 4-0 to Brentford in the first two Premier League matches of the Erik ten Hag era.
But they have bounced back well since then, winning six games, drawing two and losing just one more, which now sees them three points off third-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.
Man Utd are still eight points behind leaders Arsenal and six points adrift of defending champions Man City – but Saha reckons they can still challenge for the Premier League title this season
Saha told GGRecon: “There is time for them to still challenge for the Premier League title this season. It’s a very special year because of the World Cup, and we know that there’s the prospect of a few players returning tired, but December and January have always been crucial months in title races gone by, so let’s see what happens.
“All teams competing are going to have to deal with this World Cup situation, but when you’re eight points behind at this stage in the season, then as long as you do well against the sides you’re competing with then the dynamic can change.
“Many people believe that Manchester United are competing for the top four only, but at the moment they need to remain very humble.
“They’ve shown positive signs against both Tottenham and Chelsea, but it’s not enough as you have to show a run of remaining unbeaten for maybe eight or nine games and keep up the pressure on the sides ahead of you and be ready to capitialise when those sides have got injuries or head into a spell of inconsistent form.”
Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit thinks Newcastle United will finish fourth this season with Manchester City, the Gunners and Liverpool making up the rest of the top four.
Petit told Ladbrokes: “Manchester City will obviously make the top four. Then behind them I think Arsenal and Liverpool will be there, which leaves four clubs, for me, battling for fourth spot.
“I don’t think Tottenham will qualify for the Champions League; I think they’re going to have a difficult season.
“I also think Chelsea have had too many troubles over the last six months or so for anyone to confidently back them to make the top four, they’ve had too many injuries to players and problems off the pitch, so I think they’ll miss out.
“I’ll throw a surprise in there and say Newcastle finish fourth. I can see their owners being active once again in the January transfer window, and they’re not playing in a European competition which will be a massive benefit for them in the latter stages of the season.
But Petit thinks it’s “too early” for Arsenal to be contenders for the Premier League title, despite sitting two points clear at the top of the league after 11 matches.
Petit added: “For me, Arsenal aren’t in a title race. It’s too early for this team, and I don’t think there’s enough depth in this squad to compete in every single competition.
“Team energy is so precious in the second-half of the season, especially with the World Cup coming in just a few weeks from now. There are a lot of players from Arsenal who will be competing in the World Cup… that’s a big problem for Mikel Arteta.
“It’s just too early for this team to challenge for the title, in my opinion. They’re in a really good place right now and look like they’re back on track – I’m very impressed with the standards and how they’ve improved in the last two years.
“It would be a big achievement for this side if they can finish in the top four – it would be a huge improvement on last season as well, especially when you look at how they missed out in the last few games.”
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