Former England manager Sam Allardyce believes Manchester United and Chelsea will both struggle to finish in the top six this season.
The Reds have picked up just five points in their opening four Premier League games of the season, the worst start to a league campaign since the 1992-1993 season under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side began by blowing Chelsea away 4-0 with a brilliant second-half performance, but have since been poor and have struggled to break teams defences down, despite having opportunities to win each game so far.
And Allardyce believes former club Everton have a great opportunity to qualify for European football this time out.
“I think Everton should break into the top six and if they’re going to break in, this is the season to do it,” he told Talksport.
“United have gone even younger than Chelsea have with their squad this year; they’ve trimmed their squad down to the smallest number of experienced players I’ve probably ever seen.
“I think Man United might find breaking in a bit of a struggle, so will Chelsea, so that gives an opening and an opportunity for a team like Everton.
“I don’t think Wolves will do it because they’re in Europe for the first time in a long, long time and that will take a toll on the squad, as we saw with Burnley last year. It’ll be difficult for them.
Marco Silva’s Everton side are currently sixth in the league table, and many are tipping them to finish in the position this season, with Solskjaer’s United squad a long way from competing domestically.
I think the Reds will just have enough fire power to finish sixth this time out, but the big challenge would be to finish in the top four ahead of both Chelsea and Arsenal.
Leicester City should also not be discounted this season, and of all the teams outside of the traditional ‘top six’ fighting for the European places, I believe Brendan Rodgers’ side are best equipped with Jamie Vardy firing and young stars James Maddison and Youri Tielemans impressing in midfield.