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United can still finish top four - Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is adamant rivals Manchester United have the quality to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season.

United have drawn their past three Premier League fixtures and face an uphill battle to secure a Champions League berth for next season, with Jose Mourinho's men sixth in the standings.

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Sunday's late 1-1 draw at Everton left United nine points behind fourth-placed City and 13 points adrift of leaders Chelsea after 14 rounds.

But while the title may be a step too far, Guardiola insists United remain a contender for European football.

"How they played lately, yes," Guardiola replied when asked if United can still qualify for the Champions League ahead of City's clash against Celtic on Tuesday.

"I saw the games against Stoke, Burnley and another one at Old Trafford. They deserve by far to win those games. But football is like this.

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"Of course United have the quality, for the history, the managers and the players to be there.

"It is a long distance [for the title] and it won't be easy but to be in the top four, of course."