Paul Scholes Believes Casemiro And Raphael Varane's Experience Will Be A Huge Bonus Ahead Of Top Four Finish

Paul Scholes believes Manchester United can overcome the odds to finish in the top-four, and is tipping Casemiro and Raphael Varane to play a decisive role.

Though it has been a disappointing season so far for United, victory over Aston Villa on Sunday will move the side within just six points of the Champions League spots.

Many expect Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal to finish in the top three, with the final spot to be contested between Tottenham and Villa, though fifth place may actually be enough to qualify for the UCL due to a rule change.

Regardless, the Red Devils are not fancied to break into the top-four, but Scholes thinks otherwise, telling Premier League Productions as cited by Sports Central: ‘We live in hope that we are going to be a Champions League team. ‘We don’t want to be a Europa League team, it’s all about Champions League for Manchester United and it should be. It should be about competing the title. ‘Now at this point they’re nowhere near that but top four is still possible. It’s a long way to go, if they get beat today it’s 11 points and you’d think it’s too far. Today will go a long way to deciding if they can do it.

He added: ‘Villa are a good team but I still think they are capable of going on a run that’s bad that can help Manchester United. United with players coming back into the team could be more consistent towards the end of the season. I think they can win a lot of games. ‘But it is important they are in the Champions League. I don’t think a lot of people fancy them to do that even if they win today. It’ll be six points and Tottenham are going well as well.’

Scholes is encouraged by United’s recent form – four wins in five – and the return of several key stars from injury like Casemiro.

He added: ‘I’ve felt in the last two of three weeks that with all the players back they’ve got a chance of top-four and I think they will get into it because they’ve got that a bit of experience coming back into the team. ‘They’ve got a lot of young players but when you’ve got a Casemiro and a Varane next to them it makes a big difference to your team, a little bit of quality. ‘And sometimes it doesn’t matter how they play, sometimes it’s just about having their names around. People look at them and go, “oh they’ve got a proper team”.