Football

United looking like title-contenders again, says Neville

Red Devils legend says Mourinho's men have all the credentials to end their league title drought

HUDDERSFIELD MAN UNITED

Manchester United are primed for a title tilt for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

That is the verdict of former Red Devils stalwart Gary Neville.

Ferguson left the club in 2013 after a trophy-laden tenure, and since then, the club had gone through three managers and not finished higher than fourth in the Premier League.

But United boss Jose Mourinho has form when it comes to winning the league in his second season, having done it at Porto, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and twice at Chelsea.

The Red Devils are second in the table, two points behind local rivals Manchester City.

One-club man Neville, who played for United from 1992 to 2011, told ESPN FC: "There's consistency, definitely. There's strength, there's power, they're tough to beat, there are a lot of very good things.

"This season will be a big challenge to win the league, City are looking fantastic.

"But there's something there that tells me they are capable of winning the league, and I've not seen that for the last three or four years.

"I've not seen a team capable of challenging, let alone winning it. What I'm seeing now is a team that's consistent, a team that's hard to beat, that defends well and has got goals in it, so it's got all the credentials."

Neville's former teammate Paul Scholes, meanwhile, was less enamoured with City, particularly their defence.

He told PA Sport: "City had a great start last year, this time last year we thought they'd run away with it and defensively they struggled after that.

"Will the same happen again? They've not really done anything different with the centre halves, we'll have to see how they cope."

United will have the services of talented young attacker Marcus Rashford tonight.

The 19-year-old came off with a knee injury during their 1-0 Champions League win over Benfica on Thursday morning (Singapore time).

Mourinho said Rashford will be fit to face Huddersfield.

He said: "We have the same players as we had for the 
Benfica match...

"Nobody is back from injury but what we have is good."

Mourinho added that striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is recovering from a knee ligament tear, could return to action before the end of the year .

Said the Portuguese: "He's working so, so, so, so hard but he's not going to be back in the next week or couple of weeks.

"Do I think he will be back in 2017? Yes I do. But it is just a feeling." - WIRE SERVICES

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