Jamie Carragher makes Manchester United top four prediction and Europa League claim

United get the new season under way on Sunday as they host Brighton at Old Trafford, with Erik ten Hag taking charge of his first competitive game. The former Ajax boss will be aiming for a much-improved campaign, following what was a disastrous year for the club.

Having held title ambitions going into the 2021/22 season, United fell woefully short as they had to settle for a Europa League spot. The competition does, however, present them with another potential path back into the Champions League.

The winners of the Europa League get an automatic spot at Europes top table for the following season. And with the fight for the Premier League top four looking set to be a tight one this season, Carragher believes United should be eyeing it up as a viable alternative.

We keep talking about how they have to get top four. They dont, they have to be in the Champions League and the Europa League does give them an opportunity, Carragher told Sky Sports.

We should dominate that competition with the strength and money we have in this Premier League, our teams who finish outside the top four should be looking at that every season. Man United are in that as well so that gives them the opportunity.

Arsenal set the early tone for the top four race as they opened the curtain on the new Premier League season with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Friday. Carragher, though, is backing United to improve on last season, and challenge the Gunners as well as Tottenham for a top four spot.

The ex Liverpool star added: They [Arsenal] look better and you can say theyre judging it off one game but Gabriel Jesus is better than Lacazette, Zinchenko is better than Tavares, Saliba in there gives them better strength so theyre a better team but so are Tottenham.