United to finish top three - Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand said Manchester United will "definitely" qualify for the UEFA Champions League by finishing in the Premier League's top three.

United have gone seven matches without defeat to sit third in the standings, 10 points adrift of league leaders Chelsea, as Louis van Gaal's men responded after a nervy start to the campaign.

United are now on track for a return to the Champions League after a one-year absence and veteran QPR defender Ferdinand is confident Old Trafford will be hosting some of Europe's elite next season.

"Six weeks ago I think you'd be thinking hopefully they'd get in the Champions League," the 36-year-old told Sky Sports News HQ.

"Looking at them now, I think they'll finish definitely in third place, definite Champions League, then maybe they'll get one of the cups.

"If they continue on the run they're on, then who knows? They could go into second or first, but I think Champions League this season would have been something they were asking for and I think they'll finish in that comfortably."

Ferdinand, who won the 2007-08 Champions League trophy with Alex Ferguson, added: "[Van Gaal] had a sticky start, but the lads seem to be getting a better understanding of what he wants and you can see that in the results in the last six or seven games.

"Michael Carrick coming back has been a huge plus for them."