Danny Murphy rates Manchester United and Arsenal’s top-four chances ahead of Premier League restart

Man Utd and Arsenal are bidding to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League
Man Utd and Arsenal are bidding to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League (Picture: Getty)

Danny Murphy has backed Manchester United to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League when the season resumes but says the Champions League places are likely ‘beyond’ Arsenal.

The 2019-20 season will resume on Wednesday night following a lengthy break due to the coronavirus pandemic, with relegation-battlers Aston Villa facing Sheffield United and Arsenal visiting defending champions Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners are currently ninth in the English top-flight and will need to overtake Tottenham, Sheffield United, Wolves, Manchester United and Chelsea to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

United have endured another mixed season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but are just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and have been backed to enjoy a productive run when the Premier League resumes.

‘[Manchester United forward] Marcus Rashford is the player I am most excited to see and I believe could make the biggest difference,’ Murphy wrote in a column for MailSport.

‘If he hits the form he showed before injuring his back in January, Manchester United can qualify for the Champions League. He was in the best form of his life.’

Looking ahead to Arsenal’s trip to Manchester City on Wednesday, Murphy added: ‘If City slip up, Liverpool could win the title at Everton on Sunday.  But I can’t see it.

Danny Murphy has rated Man United and Arsenal's top-four chances
Danny Murphy has rated Man United and Arsenal’s top-four chances (Picture: Getty)

‘As the best possession team in Europe, they’ll have no problem rediscovering their rhythm.

‘When Kevin De Bruyne is on the ball I just wait to be wowed but Pep Guardiola has gifted, technical players all over the pitch.

‘The top four looks beyond Mikel Arteta’s side and while he will have inside knowledge on how Guardiola prepares, the gap looks too great for Arsenal to cause an upset.’

Manchester United and Arsenal finished sixth and fifth respectively in the Premier League last season.

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