Ray Parlour predicts where Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC will finish this season

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Runaway EPL leaders City are 13 points clear of their local rivals with a game in hand.

The prize of staying in the Premier League and the bonuses managers get when they achieve that relatively modest "success" is now damaging the game as most teams are simply trying not to lose rather than a win.

United were overtaken by Liverpool on Saturday but regained second spot thanks to Sunday's 2-1 comeback win against Chelsea.

We have seen something similar from Manchester United at times this season as Jose Mourinho is happy to sacrifice entertainment in the pursuit of success, but he also has three or four top class players to get his side over the line when they are not at their best and that will allow him to get away with his brand of negative football for a little while longer. "But I think that's our (goal) first and foremost".

Manchester United centre back Chris Smalling, too, highlighted the importance of Saturday week's clash, adding that finishing second is the "bare minimum" for United. Liverpool are two points behind the Red Devils, while the north London club are fourth in the table with 55 points. "I think we are a very good team but there are some other good teams around us as well".

When asked whether Liverpool can challenge City for the title next term, Sherwood told Sky Sports' The Debate: "Yeah I think they are the closest team".

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However, Chelsea No. 1 Thibaut Courtois insists they have the quality to rise up from fifth to grab a Champions League spot.

"It is going to be a monumental run-in, but Chelsea now have to go on a run, hopefully starting with something, even a point against Man City at the weekend".

Ray Palour is backing Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur to finish in the top four ahead of Chelsea FC.

"After that it might come down to who has the nerve and who has the deepest squad".

United never ended the season lower than third in the Premier League era under Alex Ferguson but have failed to finish higher than fourth since he retired as a champion in 2013 - a side Smalling was part of.