Former Premier League defender makes top four prediction amid Manchester United’s struggles

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Manchester United and Arsenal have been backed to scrap it out for a top four finish in the Premier League this season, according to former Premier League defender, Jonathan Woodgate.

United are nine points behind Chelsea on the league table, after 11 matches, with two games lost out of six.

The Red Devils have also suffered embarrassing defeats to the likes of Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City, but Woodgate believes a top four finish is still within reach.

The former Newcastle man also backed Chelsea to win the league, because Thomas Tuchel’s side barely concede.

He told Ladbrokes, “I really fancy Chelsea to win the Premier League this year, just because they barely concede.

“Once they get Romelu Lukaku firing on all cylinders, I reckon they’re going to be a monster team.

“I just love the way those full-backs bomb forward; Reece James and Ben Chilwell are just so suited to this style of play Thomas Tuchel has implemented.

“The shape suits the team, and their two central midfielders really dictate the play. I like their intensity, too, as a unit.”

“Look at the depth of the squad as well; it’s absolutely gigantic. If James doesn’t play, Cesar Azpilicueta comes in. If Chilwell isn’t starting, Marcos Alonso is.

“They’ve got Trevor Chalobah coming through, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen. They’ve got so much depth within their squad, it’s frightening.

“Even Ruben Loftus-Cheek is playing unbelievably from a deeper position. For me, they’re going to be really tough to beat to the title this season.”

Woodgate added, “Liverpool and Man City will be right up there as well, but then it’s a tough call for that final spot in the top four. I think I’d have to put Man United in,’ he added.

“Arsenal have really impressed me. Mikel Arteta has been under immense pressure but I love what he’s doing with that team at the moment.

“He’s going to be a top, top manager. I love his style of play, I love how much he believes in his younger players.

“I just think top four is too much of an ask for them this season – I think the Cristiano Ronaldo effect gets United into the top four.”