Man Utd named one of five Champions League favorites by Paul Merson
The Red Devils have won Europe’s biggest Cup competition three times, but not since 2008, reaching two finals and three quarter-finals in the past 12 seasons.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United reached the Europa League final last season – they were beaten on penalties by Villarreal – and finished second in the Premier League.
Former Arsenal and England star Merson believes United’s wait for a domestic title will last at least a year longer, but says the Manchester club could win the Champions League this season.
He named Manchester United as one of his five contenders for victory, along with German champions Bayern Munich, French giants Paris Saint-Germain and Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.
“I picked Manchester United as one of the top five Champions League contenders this season and I’ll explain why,” Merson wrote in a column for Sportskeeda.
“I know they were knocked out in the group stage last season, but the way they play is more suited to Champions League football than it is to the Premier League.
Paul Merson’s top five Champions League contenders
Paris Saint Germain
“They counterattack as well as anyone in Europe and have a team that has match winners on the pitch with the additions of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.
“Sancho adds a bit more cunning to the squad, while Varane is an experienced defender who will not only allow them to play a higher line but also complement Harry Maguire perfectly.
“Manchester United are in my opinion the biggest club in world football, so I’m not going to call them black horses.
“They went almost eight years without winning the Premier League or the Champions League and it could so easily become 15 or 20 if they don’t take the initiative.
“They look like a strong team and it goes without saying that each of their forwards except Edinson Cavani are amazingly fast!
“I don’t know if Manchester United will win the Premier League title, but when you look at the way they play they could be a force to be reckoned with in the UEFA Champions League.”
The draw for the 2021-22 Champions League group stage will take place on August 26 in Istanbul.
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