Although Manchester United are well off the Premier League title pace, it looks like the race for a top four spot will go down to the wire.

With Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea likely to lock horns for the title, the fight for the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot will intensify.

Here are United’s three biggest challengers for a top four spot…

West Ham United

Arsenal v West Ham United - Premier League
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With seven wins from their opening 11 Premier League games, David Moyes’ side haven’t dropped off from last season’s sixth-placed finish.

After finishing two points outside the Champions League places in the last campaign, the Hammers will be looking to get over the line this season.

Despite not having the biggest squad, West Ham’s Premier League form hasn’t suffered with the addition of Europa League football to contend with.

Arsenal v West Ham United - Premier League
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However, following their 3-2 home win against Liverpool, Moyes’ side won just one of their next six Premier League games.

With six goals from his opening eight Premier League games, Michail Antonio started the season on fire, but the Jamaican international hasn’t scored in his last eight.

If West Ham have a fit and firing squad, with the influential Declan Rice driving them on, and Antonio rediscovering his goalscoring touch, Moyes’ team could be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.

 

Arsenal

Arsenal Training Session
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Occupying the fourth spot heading into Christmas, Mikel Arteta’s young side look to be clicking together and building an identity.

Despite the controversy surrounding Arteta’s decision to strip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club’s captaincy, Arsenal’s young Gunners look to be growing as a team.

With the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli stepping up to the plate, Arteta will be hoping his side can kick on in the second half of the campaign.

Arsenal Training Session
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Summer signings Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu have bolstered Arsenal’s backline, but there soft centre remains an issue which could arise at any stage.

Arteta’s team could get close, but United’s experience and quality should prove to be to much for the north London side.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Premier League
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Tottenham would probably be disregarded if they didn’t have serial winner Antonio Conte steering the ship. The Italian’s energy and will to win will drag this Spurs team close.

With 10 points from his opening five Premier League matches, the former Chelsea manager will believe, similar to Ralf Rangnick, that his side can only get better over time.

Spurs’ controversial elimination from the UEFA Conference League could actually aid their top four hopes, as they will have a freer schedule and fresher legs.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Premier League
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The open clash against Liverpool highlighted the problems Conte’s side can pose when the likes of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and possibly even Dele Alli, receive the ball in dangerous areas and have a system that plays to their strengths.

Manchester United will face stiff competition from the London clubs, but if we maintain the early form we’ve shown under Rangnick, it could turn out that we pull away from the chasing pack and close the gap on Chelsea.

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