Gary Neville admits that Manchester United have put themselves in the Premier League title mix, “as daft as that sounds”, but the Red Devils legend is not expecting a challenge for the crown to be sustained. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has clambered into the fifth spot in the English top-flight table.
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Efforts on the road, which have delivered five successive comeback victories, are helping to make United competitive. A reversal in fortune at Old Trafford could see them become serious contenders for the ultimate prize, eight years after Sir Alex Ferguson toasted the last of his 13 successes, but Neville believes the usual suspects will start to edge clear in time.
The United legend told Sky Sports on an intriguing tussle for domestic supremacy: “I think he’s [Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho] got a chance because there’s no doubt Liverpool and Manchester City are not where they were. “Losing [Virgil] Van Dijk, I think Liverpool win this league at a canter if Van Dijk is fit. I really do, nobody can get near them.
“I still think Liverpool will win the league but there are little things going against them that haven’t in the last couple of years. The same for Manchester City and that makes it interesting. “Chelsea and Tottenham are looking at them thinking, ‘Hmm, they’re not right and we’re okay here, we’re just starting to hit form, we’re building spirit, we’re getting closer to them’ and I think that is giving confidence to them.
“Even Manchester United – Manchester United players will be sat there thinking ‘We could have a chance if we play like we could’, as daft as that sounds because I don’t think they will win the league.
“That’s what this season is doing to us because the top two [Liverpool and City] have set a bar that we’ve never seen before and now we are starting to see something more normal.”United’s focus is currently locked on Champions League duty as they seek to pick up the positive result at RB Leipzig that will carry them into the last 16, but they will get a chance to show their title credentials on Saturday when taking in a derby date with City at Old Trafford.