Tony Cascarino doesn’t think that Sheffield United can finish 5th in the Premier League this season.
The Blades have been gifted a greater chance of qualifying for the Champions League because of Manchester City’s ban from European competition.
City will not be allowed to play in UEFA tournaments for the next two years after breaching their Financial Fair Play rules. They will appeal the decision and take it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Yet if the ban is upheld then fifth position will qualify for the Champions League for 2020/21 in their place.
Chris Wilder’s side occupied that position until yesterday. They were leapfrogged by Tottenham Hotspur following their 3-2 win at Aston Villa.
Cascarino, who first met Wilder when he was in charge at Northampton Town, thinks finishing in the top five is a step too far for his friend.
“They’ve overachieved under Wilder every season for the last three,” the pundit said on talkSPORT.
“I can’t see them doing it, if I’m brutally honest.
“I think they have done so well. To keep it going right through until May would be an extraordinary feat.”
Will Sheffield United finish 5th?
Some may criticise Cascarino and say he is just the latest pundit to write off the Blades. Comments from the likes of Garth Crooks, Danny Mills and Adrian Durham this campaign have been slammed for being way off the mark.
Yet Cascarino has actually been a great supporter of Wilder and his team since their promotion to the Premier League.
He is right that it will be quite some feat were the South Yorkshire side to finish ahead of far more established top flight clubs and qualify for the Champions League.
Spurs are clearly their biggest threat as things stand. Struggling in the bottom half when Jose Mourinho took over in November, only Liverpool and Man City have taken more points since then.
Everton are another in great form. Since Carlo Ancelotti became boss in December, only their rivals across Stanley Park have acquired more points.
Then there is Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United. It will be a tough ask but a challenge the Blades will relish.