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Rio Ferdinand predicts fourth-placed finish for Manchester United, Jermaine Jenas disagrees

Rio Ferdinand has predicted a fourth-placed finish for Manchester United at the end of the 2023-24 Premier League campaign, and Jermaine Jenas could not believe him.

The former Tottenham Hotspur star picked Manchester City to win the title, with Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa to finish behind them.

However, Ferdinand tipped Liverpool to finish behind Man City, with Arsenal finishing in third place and Man United in fourth.

“Who said ‘sneak in’?” Ferdinand said on TNT Sports when asked why he sneaked the Old Trafford club into his top-four prediction. “I didn’t say ‘sneak in’. Manchester United will be there.

“I don’t think they [INEOS] will have any bearing on it at the moment because they are not going to have a bearing on this next transfer window.

“They are going to be observers looking and seeing what is going on and the big challenges behind the scenes they can then change.

“But I think Manchester United have had one of the most injury-ravaged teams this season, come January a lot of those players will be back and I think they will have a big impact on this team.

“Manchester United are still in touch, and with a bigger squad back playing, getting results they will hopefully be back in the top four.”

Jenas was baffled by his prediction, questioning the thinking behind it.

“Do you really believe this – do you honestly believe what you are saying?” he asked Ferdinand.

The former Man United star fired back: “Yeah, why are you questioning me?”

Jenas retorted: “Because I remember you having a meltdown at Fulham. Mine was a legitimate one. I just don’t think I had a biased nature with mine.

“I think the United shout is a mad one. You have had a meltdown about them all year. That would be unreal. (Erik) ten Hag stays in his seat, everyone’s happy.”

The Red Devils are currently seventh in the table after 19 games despite the woeful campaign they have had, with six points between them and the top four.

They have won ten games, lost eight and drawn one, and a victory against Nottingham Forest later today will come in very much handy for their top-four hopes.

Ten Hag is under pressure and will be desperate to prove to Sir Jim Ratcliffe that he has what it takes to take the club to the next level.

Man United will be without Cameroon international goalkeeper Andre Onana and Morocco international midfielder Sofyan Amrabat during the Africa Cup of Nations next month and part of February, but their unavailability is unlikely to affect the team.

Most of their injured players are starting to return to fitness, which would come as a much-needed boost going forward.

Whether they can break into the top four remains to be seen given their level of inconsistency.