Former Manchester United and Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Bosnich has backed the Red Devils to secure fourth spot and Champions League qualification over the Blues come the end of the Premier League season.
The top-four race will provide a bulk of the drama with Manchester City and Leicester battling it out for second behind Liverpool, but up to six teams could still be in contention for the remaining spot, which is currently occupied by Chelsea, with five points separating fourth and ninth.
City have recently been sanctioned with a two-year ban from competing in the European competition for breaching Financial Fair Play rules with fifth spot potentially opening the door for Champions League football, although the Sky Blues are set to contest the sanctions imposed by UEFA.
Former Australian international, Bosnich, who represented both United and Chelsea, told Sky Sports he believes suspensions and injuries could help the Red Devils’ cause.
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He said: “Forget about all the Man City stuff because I think that will be reversed.
“I’m just going to say that it will be a toss-up for fourth place between Chelsea and Manchester United. I think Manchester United will pip it in the end.
“It really is congested. Chelsea are obviously in fourth place on 44 points, but all the way down to eight are only four points behind.
“Obviously things will come into it like suspensions and injuries, as they always do. I’ve just got a feeling that Manchester United might squeeze into that fourth place just above Chelsea.
“At this moment in time I think it would be silly for anyone to put any serious money on it because it is so congested and the way teams are playing, Sheffield United and teams like the, you never quite know.
“Chelsea and Manchester United are both involved in European competitors, as are Tottenham as well, but that could change a couple of weeks’ time.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men moved up to fifth after beating Watford 3-0 and now sit on 41 points while fourth-placed Chelsea defeated Spurs at Stamford Bridge but are just three points ahead of their closest challengers United.
United now turn their attention to a pivotal set of fixtures which could make or break their season with the return leg of a Europa League last-32 encounter against Club Brugge followed by an FA Cup fifth-round at Derby county, while also facing Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham and Sheffield United.
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