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Manchester United legend and television pundit, Gary Neville, has changed his mind on who he thinks is going to finish inside the top four in the Premier League this season. The former right-back, who has recently been nominated for the Premier League’s Hall of Fame, now believes that Newcastle United will be playing Champions League football next year.
Neville has previously stated his belief that Eddie Howe’s side would just come up short in the race for top four but now thinks that their form over the past couple of weeks indicates that they are ready to take that next step. Speaking on his podcast, Neville said:
“What a week for Newcastle. To beat Manchester United, West Ham away and then Brentford away that’s a tough week and to get nine points – that’s a brilliant performance.
I didn’t have them down as top-four probably three weeks ago and even after the United game, I thought ‘Well they’ve got three tough away games now in West Ham, Brentford and AstonVilla.’ You’ll probably drop points in that and it will give Tottenham and Liverpool maybe a chance.
But looking at them now, watching them closely against Manchester United where I thought they were absolutely brilliant, I think they will finish in the top four now because their confidence will be so high.”
The two Uniteds to finish in 3rd and 4th
It wasn’t too long ago that Neville was tipping Manchester United to finish 2nd in the Premier League. However, a string of poor results against Liverpool, Southampton and Newcastle has put those thoughts to bed. Despite that, he still believes that his former club will finish inside the top four along with Newcaste:
“I thought Man United were really poor against Newcastle. But what we’ve seen with this side under Erik ten Hag is that they do respond and they do bounce back. They were dominant against Everton but beating Brentford was really important. Six points from that week doesn’t look so bad now. They do respond and come back which will mean they do finish in those Champions League places.”
I've been keeping tabs FiveThirtyEight's Premier League prediction model over the last week to see what they made of #MUFC's Top Four chances.
– They went from 74% chance of Top 4 to a low 60% after losing to Newcastle, only to climb back up to 68 after Spurs' draw to Everton. pic.twitter.com/GxsYV9qTNU
— Carl Anka (@Ankaman616) April 10, 2023
If Neville’s predictions come true then it means that Tottenham Hotspur will miss out on champions league football next season. The knock-on effect of this could mean that club captain and record goalscorer, Harry Kane, pushes his way out of North London with Manchester United tipped to be his next destination.
The race from here
Despite Neville’s confidence in Newcastle and Manchester United, the race for the top four still has a long way to go. As things stand, Spurs are three points behind Newcastle and United and the two northern clubs also have a game in hand on Cristian Stellini’s men.
However, before the end of the month, Spurs will have the opportunity to cut this gap dramatically as they face off against both rivals in the space of four days. If they can pick up two wins in those two games then the race will well and truly be back on and it could even bring the likes of Brighton and Liverpool back into the mix.
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