Man United will have control over the title race

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has warned the rest of the Premier League not to write off Manchester United yet.

Despite their rapid improvement under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has seen United on Cardiff, Huddersfield and Bournemouth, the Red Devils are in sixth place in 2019 and leaders Liverpool with 19 points behind.

That gap may be too big to close, but Benitez, who is fighting his side on Wednesday night with Solsky's men in St James's Park, is convinced that they can still cause problems for the most important champions.

The Spaniard said: "Do you think the players they have after they have spent the money are bad players? They are good players on the field, they have played in the last three games – it is a very good team.

"It's a team that has to be in the top four, that's very clear, they can compete against everyone, Liverpool, Manchester City, everybody.

"We are talking about one of the biggest clubs in the world in everything, the players they have, the names they have.

"They are so good, if you want to get points against them, if you want to win against them, you really have to perform very well."

Newcastle did exactly that in February last year when United left Tyneside at the wrong end of a 1-0 score thanks to Matt Ritchie's strike.

They also silenced Old Trafford in October, when they took a 2-0 lead before Jose Mourinho's United made a comeback in which Alexis Sanchez saw victory at death.

Benitez said: "If you need something, you need some happiness, against the top you need even more luck, if you make a few mistakes, they might score a few goals, the upper sides punish you.

"It is clear that they have now won a few games and have more happy people around, but if you win, that's normal, that's the way it should be.

"Hopefully they will be disappointed after our race and then they can do what they want." For us it is a huge game against a good team. It does not matter to the manager, they have good players and that is the most important thing. "

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