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By ESPN Staff

King Eric tips United for title

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona predicts the Red Devils will claim this year's Premiership title.

The Old Trafford side currently hold a six-point lead over reigning title-holders Chelsea and the Frenchman is convinced they will be crowned champions in May for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

'For sure they will be champions,' Cantona told the BBC's North West Tonight programme.

'It's a new era, a new generation. They have a great team but they have a lot to prove. They need to do it.

'United have been brave from the start and have a good atmosphere, where they work very well with young players like Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.'

Cantona also reserved praise for manager Sir Alex Ferguson for his man-management skills.

He also hailed the Scot for assembling a side with a perfect mix of youth and experience capable of challenging for the title after Chelsea had appeared on the brink of dominating English football with successive Premiership triumphs.

'Ferguson is the kind of manager who can help the greatest player with a lot of experience and also help the young players,' Cantona said.

'Not all managers can do that, but he can do that and find the balance on the pitch to have a strong team.'

The 40-year-old also paid tribute to the heir of his number seven shirt at United, Cristiano Ronaldo, adding he was not surprised the Old Trafford fans had supported the Portugal player after his involvement in Wayne Rooney's sending-off in the World Cup quarter final against England.

'He needed to have experience and to score goals - now he has that and is a world-class player.

'It can be difficult in another club than Manchester United.

'But the fans of United are very faithful and behind you, they are the best. He plays for United and is one of the members of the family.'