Roy Keane explains why Man Utd have become ‘certs’ to finish in top four, but Neville disagrees and foresees ‘struggle’

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Roy Keane believes Manchester United are certain to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season after their win over Arsenal.

Manchester United missed out on a Champions League place last season, only managing to come sixth. They finished one position below Arsenal, who went into their game against each other on Sunday with a perfect record from the new campaign so far.

But Manchester United took it off them with a 3-1 win at Old Trafford. Antony scored on his debut in the first half, before a Marcus Rashford brace took the game away from Arsenal after Bukayo Saka’s equaliser for 1-1.

Arsenal remain top of the formative Premier League table due to their lightning start in their five previous games. But Manchester United are now just three points behind them after responding to consecutive defeats at the start of the season with four wins on the bounce.

That run has been bookended by wins over Liverpool and Arsenal, two of the other clubs competing for a Champions League place.

And former Manchester United captain Roy Keane – who had already spoken before the match about his feeling that Erik ten Hag’s settled team is gaining momentum – is adamant that his former club are more likely than the Gunners to break into the top four this time around.

Asked who will finish higher, he told Sky Sports: “United. I think United are certs for the top four. I think they’ve got a settled group now.

“Obviously the transfer window, I mentioned it earlier, a lot of baggage with players who weren’t happy at the club gone.

“The manager is settling in, the options coming off the bench today we saw… United for me.”

Gary Neville does not share Roy Keane opinion

However, former teammate and fellow pundit Gary Neville still believes Man Utd are not quite ready to get back there yet.

Neville said: “I think [Manchester] City, Liverpool and Tottenham will finish in the top three. I think Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd… it’s a big battle.

“I think United will struggle to get into the top four, personally.”

United were 13 points off the pace last season in the hunt for a top-four finish. The year before, though, they came as high as second in the table.

It is fair to say their form has fluctuated in recent years. But Ten Hag will be hoping to make his first season a successful one. Plenty of work is ahead for his troops as they aim to keep improving compared to last season.

READ MORETen Hag identifies area where Man Utd have ‘really improved’ before explaining excitement for Antony, Rashford link-up

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