Fergie primed for pivotal clash

BY foxsports • February 11, 2011

With a five-point lead over their neighbours at the top of the Premier League and a game in hand, Manchester United are in a dominant position despite losing their unbeaten record at Wolves last weekend. Should the hosts prevail, it is hard to imagine Roberto Mancini's men clawing their way back into contention, even though United's hazardous run-in includes trips to Liverpool and Arsenal in addition to two meetings against champions Chelsea. Experience tells Ferguson the outcome of such matches has huge significance, even if the points gathered is the same as for any other victory. "It won't be decided tomorrow but the game could be decisive for whoever gets a result when you look back," said Ferguson. "At this stage of the season you are going to see a lot of important games. There could be a focus on Saturday or the matches against Chelsea or Arsenal because the later into the season it goes, the more important the games become because you don't have much time to recover." As Arsenal are presently United's nearest challengers, and Chelsea remain the champions, Ferguson automatically looks at the London duo as his own side's biggest threat. However, he is not ignoring City either, knowing a second away win in four seasons for the Blues would see them move within two points of their illustrious neighbours. "There has been a consistent thread in the Premier League for the last 14 years," said Ferguson. "It has been Arsenal, ourselves and Chelsea. You have to respect they were the winners last year. They are the champions. "But City are in a challenging position, there is no question about that. On the run towards the finishing line you will get a lot of interesting games and City are involved in that."

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