Former centre-back John O’Shea is predicting “more twists and turns” in the battle to secure a Champions League spot for next season ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Everton this lunchtime.
United, who have won just one of their last four Premier League outings, are currently seventh in the table and three points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth. Ralf Rangnick’s side will leapfrog both Arsenal and West Ham United with a win this lunchtime and move level on points with Spurs on goal-difference.
However, Arsenal, who were beaten 3-0 by Crystal Palace on Monday evening, have a game in hand on United and Spurs, as well as two on West Ham, meaning they are the favourites to claim the final Champions League berth. The Reds have looked the least likely of the four teams in the race to clinch the position in recent weeks, picking up just five points from the last 12 on offer.
However, former United man O’Shea is adamant that the Reds cannot be ruled out of the race just yet. Furthermore, he has also admitted that a win for Rangnick’s troops against Everton in the early kick-off will increase the pressure on those currently above them.
“Yes, I think there’ll be a couple more twists and turns,” O’Shea told United’s website, addressing the battle for a top-four finish. “You have to say that Spurs and Arsenal have the edge at the minute but we’ve just got to make sure we get wins on the board now as soon as we can and get the pressure cranked up on them, starting with the early kick-off against Everton.
“They’ll be fighting for their lives, especially after that Burnley result the other day [Wednesday]. It’s looking more difficult as the weeks go by and the draw against Leicester could be costly too.
“We have to focus on ourselves, but if the wins come and it creates the chance to get into that top four, it’s all well and good.”