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Everton v Manchester United

'Man Utd can win any game' - Red Devils are 'definite title contenders', says McClaren

14:57 GMT 24/12/2020
Bruno Fernandes Manchester United Everton 2020-21
A man who served as assistant coach at Old Trafford alongside Sir Alex Ferguson has been impressed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's current crop

Manchester United "can win any game", according to Steve McClaren, who has insisted that the Red Devils are "definite title contenders".

The first half of the 2020-21 campaign has been a roller coaster journey for United fans, with mixed fortunes endured on both domestic and European fronts.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side slipped into the bottom half of the Premier League table after a home defeat against Arsenal on November 1, having only managed to record seven points from their opening six fixtures.

Promising signs were shown during Champions League group stage victories over Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig though, and a consistent streak has gradually been developed amid the congested fixture schedule caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

United ultimately exited Europe's elite competition after losing their Pool H decider against Leipzig, but have risen to third in the top-flight over the past two months, winning six of their last seven matches.

A 6-2 thrashing of Leeds United at Old Trafford on Sunday saw Solskjaer's team move to within five points of leaders Liverpool with a game in hand, with a crucial trip to the King Power Stadium to take on second-placed Leicester City up next.

The Red Devils warmed up for that Boxing Day encounter by knocking Everton out of the Carabao Cup at the quarter-final stage on Wednesday, and McClaren was encouraged by what he saw at Goodison Park.

The former United assistant coach has no doubt that his old club can push Liverpool all the way in this season's title race, with it his belief that Solskjaer's men are capable of beating anyone when they're in full flow.

McClaren told talkSPORT: “The way that they’re playing at the moment, the way that they blitzed Everton for the first half an hour…

“The way that they absolutely dismantled Leeds – they overran them, they were more physical than them – not many teams will do that to Leeds. Not many teams will do that.

“They’ve got the players, they’re getting fit. I heard Ole saying how their fitness is improving – that wasn’t there at the beginning of the season.

“But the quality of the players they’ve got, they’ve got goals in the team. They can win any game.

“They are right up there, believe you me. They are definite title contenders.”