“If he’s out for any reason this season, they’ll struggle.”
Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise believes that Manchester United will finish third in the Premier League as they’re too reliant on star man Bruno Fernandes.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team have been in sparkling form in recent weeks, overtaking Liverpool to top the league table last week.
The Red Devils faced off against Liverpool on Sunday in a massive match. The game finished as a scoreless draw leaving Man United two points clear at the top and Liverpool in fourth.
Despite summiting the league table, Sunday’s result led many observers to questions Man United’s title credentials and Riise agrees.
The Norwegian is of the opinion that Solskjaer’s side lack the quality possessed by Liverpool and Manchester City and backed his former side to retain the crown.
Manchester United – unbeaten in 12 Premier League games, the longest unbeaten run in the competition:
— Fergie's Fledglings (@RedDevilTimes) January 18, 2021
“In my opinion, I think Liverpool should be favourites to win the league, not Man City,” Riise said in an interview with Ladbrokes.
“They had a good start to the season but they’re losing too many games and are lacking consistency.”
Riise felt that the current season would be an entertaining spectacle for a neutral supporter as it’s nearly impossible to predict which teams would finish in the top-four or even the top-six in the league.
“Liverpool and Man City are going to be up there,” he continued.
“And then Man United will probably be in third place.”
When pressed on why he thought the Red Devils would have to settle for third place, Riise said it’s because they’re far too reliant on Bruno Fernandes’ talents to bail them out.
“Man United are very reliant on Fernandes, though,” he explained.
Bruno Fernandes against the Premier League's 'big six' in 2020-21:
🏃♂️ 6 matches
⚽️ 1 goal (a penalty)
🅰️ 0 assists
The penalty came in a 6-1 defeat to Tottenham 🙃 pic.twitter.com/95VFqNYfGF
— Goal (@goal) January 18, 2021
“If he’s out for any reason this season, they’ll struggle.
“That’s why I don’t think United will be up there in May because they’re too dependent on that one player.”
Riise also explained how both Manchester City and Liverpool have several players who they can rely on to carry the team whereas Man United only have one and that is something that can hurt them in the long run.