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The former Old Trafford favourite thinks his old club can compete with Liverpool and Tottenham for the top-flight trophy this season

Dimitar Berbatov has expressed his belief that Manchester United are dark horses for this season’s Premier League title.

United have recovered from a slow start to the 2020-21 campaign to rise to seventh in the top-flight standings, eight points behind current leaders Liverpool.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side can move second if they win their two games in hand, with a tough Pennines derby clash against Leeds United up next at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Despite their strong position in the table, the Red Devils have faced criticism for their erratic performances and an unconvincing 3-2 win at Sheffield United last week did little to silence their doubters.

The Manchester outfit have had to come from behind to win all six of their away games so far this term, while at home they have only picked up five points from a possible 18.

Berbatov believes United have a great opportunity to fly under the radar and snatch the Premier League trophy, but has admitted that they will first have to cut out the mistakes which have seen them hand the opposition head starts over the past few months.

“Everyone connected to the club is, of course, disappointed with being knocked out of the Champions League but that’s in the past now and at the moment things are going well for United in the Premier League,” the former Red Devils striker told Betfair.

“If they win their other game in hand then they will move even further up the table and in my opinion, they are in a great position to attack the top and go for the title. They are lurking in the shadows at the moment. People aren’t really paying attention to them and aren’t really considering them as a title challengers.

“All the focus is on Liverpool and Spurs, but maybe there will be a few surprises along the way and United will fight for that top spot because it’s a tight race this year.

“They need to correct this habit of conceding a goal first because, when they come up against a really good team, it’s going to be difficult to turn the game around.

“United are doing really well so far in the league and I think they can be happy with how they’ve done so far. The big plus is their game-in-hand against Burnley. No offence to the Clarets but United should be taking three points there, which would be massive.”

Berbatov was not overly concerned with United’s defensive failings against Sheffield United, given the fact they were able to pick the Blades apart at will at the other end of the pitch with Marcus Rashford leading the assault by scoring a brace.

“The goals they scored were great,” he added. “Rashford’s first was unbelievable, the pass, the touch and the finish were all perfect. I watched that goal over and over again. It was pure football fantasy, it was beautiful.

“It was a great touch because he didn’t lose his stride, he didn’t overhit it, everything was perfect. He got so much power into the shot because of the way he took the ball down and controlled it, it was great to see.

“His second showed how good United can be on the counter-attack, with their speed and how they combine. Overall, I think everyone can be pretty happy with the game.”

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December 20, 2020
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