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Manchester United written off in Champions League race by ex-Premier League shot-stopper



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Former England goalkeeper David James is the latest to add his opinion on the Premier League’s top four and the much-coveted guarantee of Champions League football.

Manchester United are beginning to revive their Champions League hopes with four consecutive wins for Erik ten Hag’s side in the Premier League as they continue to close the gap between themselves, Tottenham and Aston Villa.

Following on from their 2-1 victory away at Luton Town on Sunday, United are just three points adrift of Spurs in fifth, which could be a Champions League qualification spot, and five points behind Villa, who are fourth, which guarantees a place at Europe’s elite club competition.

Ex-Premier League goalkeeper, David James has predicted The Reds to lose in the battle for fourth place, and when asked for his favourite to finish in the top four, the 53-year-old said:

“I have to be biased and say Aston Villa. I think Ollie Watkins is proving himself again this season, and it’s been a remarkable campaign for him. That being said, I think with the amount of goals and the lack of clean sheets we’re seeing in the Premier League at the moment, there seems to be a lot of players on big numbers when it comes to goalscoring,” James told GGRecon.

“I think Aston Villa have had their wobble. Tottenham are playing better football this season under Ange Postecoglou, however what’s interesting with Ange is that he’s being linked with the Liverpool job already and that could be disturbing for some of the Spurs players. I think Aston Villa are in a better position with Unai Emery for that reason.

“I’m not convinced by Manchester United, and I’m not just saying that because I’m an ex-Liverpool player, because I’m not seeing proper team performances from them despite their run of wins. Unfortunately, Luton keep losing at home and that hurts me as a supporter of the club. They keep losing at home by the odd goal and are always in matches until the very last minute.”

Luton certainly pushed United till the very end and if it wasn’t for the brilliance of a record-breaking Rasmus Højlund the game would have been a very dire watch thanks to The Reds complete lack of control in games, something that was noticed by UtdDistrict in our 5 things learned.

“Manchester United still seem to struggle in games for the best part of 45 minutes and that’s something that you shouldn’t expect from a side that has ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League,” continued James. “I think there’s still work for Erik Ten Hag to do. I just think that Aston Villa have had their blip, and I believe it will be a fight between themselves and Arsenal for third and fourth place.”

James’ opinion is unfortunately backed up by the numbers produced from Opta Analytic’s supercomputer as Unai Emery’s men are 53.98% likely to book their place in the top four, whereas, United’s percentage chance is 10.58%.