Jamie Carragher believes Manchester United and Arsenal's exit from the Capital One Cup could help them beat Manchester City for the Premier League title. The Red Devils and the Gunners were eliminated from the fourth round of the league cup after losing to Championship clubs.
Louis van Gaal saw his side lose to Middleborough on penalties a day after the north London club were eliminated following their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday. City are leading the table with 22 points after 10 matches, level on points with second place Arsenal.
United are two points behind the league leaders in the fourth place. The Liverpool legend believes being dumped out of the Capital One Cup could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Old Trafford outfit and Arsenal in the long run.
"We'd all say Man City are the team we all fancy to win the title but I think for United and Arsenal it may not be the end of the world," Carragher told Sky Sports.
"They're the two sides now you look at who could sneak the title from City. If [Sergio] Aguero was out for a long time, if [David] Silva was out for long time. Those three weeks that you get [from not playing in the Capital One Cup], the training sessions with the manager, fresh for the weekend. It could actually help them in the long run. They'll be disappointed going out, the chance of a trophy gone, but in terms of the long run for the Champions League and trying to put pressure on Man City, it could actually work in their favour."
Smalling wants to bounce back against Palace
United will take on Crystal Palace in the league tie at Selhurst Park on 31 October. Their defender Chris Smalling is hoping his side will put the defeat to Middleborough behind them and bounce back when they face Alan Pardew's side.
"I think we'll take the disappointment tonight but tomorrow we need to turn our attentions immediately to Saturday, because it's another big game, an away game, and we need a response from tonight," Smalling told United's official website.