Tottenham Hotspur manager, Jose Mourinho, thinks Sheffield United can realistically qualify for the Champions League.
With Manchester City having been given a ban from European club competition for the next two seasons, it means fifth could now secure qualification for the tournament.
That position is currently occupied by Spurs, who leapfrogged the Blades following their 3-2 win at Aston Villa.
There is just seven points between Chelsea in fourth and Burnley in 11th. Mourinho thinks any of the sides in between are in the race.
“When we speak about fifth, Wolves, Sheffield [United], Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton look to the table and week after week say, ‘We can do it’ and they can,” the Tottenham boss told BBC Sport.
“So it is going to be very hard.”
This comes shortly after Mourinho heaped praise on both Wolves and the Blades for how they were taking on the established bigger clubs in the Premier League.
“Wolves and Sheffield United are fighting for the top four, [the managers] can say no, I understand if they say no, but the reality is that they are. Not just because of the position that they are in the table, it is because of the power and quality,” the 57-year-old said to Sky Sports News.
“Sheffield United bought an important player (Sander Berge) and beat their record in the market to try to improve their team.
“It’s not just about Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton. It’s not just about us.
“These two clubs I have to say… fantastic.”
Can Sheffield United qualify for the Champions League
The latter comments from Mourinho came before the news of Man City’s ban. With fifth position now potentially also offering Champions League football, suddenly the prospect has become much more likely for Chris Wilder’s side.
That said, Spurs have shown much improved form since Mourinho was put in charge. Only Liverpool and Manchester City have picked up more points since then.
It is a similar story at Everton as well, who were in the relegation zone just two months ago but are now up to eighth. Since Carlo Ancelotti became their manager in December, only the Reds have earned more points.
The Blades are very much in the mix, but shouldn’t feel too disheartened to lose out to one of those big spending teams.