Rio: No singing and dancing yet

Published Dec. 17, 2010 1:17 p.m. ET

Having clambered above Arsenal and Manchester City courtesy of Monday's win over the Gunners, while retaining a precious game in hand, United are now obvious favourites to claim a record 19th league championship. Victory at Chelsea on Sunday really would generate a feeling that Sir Alex Ferguson's men had one hand on the trophy. But there is no sense of euphoria among Ferdinand and his team-mates, merely a steely determination to reclaim a piece of silverware they believe belongs to them. "We are not singing and dancing about being top," he said. "We will sing and dance in May if we are still top. I would rather be there then. We just want to win that league." At this point 12 months ago, Ferguson was also preparing a side to visit west London. On that occasion Fulham was the destination and United were forced to name a team with Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick at centre-half due to an injury crisis. It is hardly a surprise defensive performances have improved markedly this term. Ferdinand and long-time partner Nemanja Vidic completed their 10th Premier League game together against Arsenal and it would be a major shock if Ferguson split them up for the Chelsea trip. "I don't know if it is just down to me and him being together," Ferdinand said of United's improvement. "The whole thing is not as fragmented this season. "No matter what team you are, you are going to suffer when you don't have centre-backs playing in that position. "But I am comfortable with Vida. We have played together for a few years. We know each other's games inside out and that feeds through to the other players." United have not won at Stamford Bridge since 2002 and should be relishing the contest given Chelsea's recent dismal form. But former West Ham skipper Ferdinand has been around too long to believe form will be a factor this weekend. "Top-of-the-table clashes are about what happens on the day," he said. "The type of form you are in doesn't matter. "There are enough players on the pitch to win the game. Whoever plays best on the day or gets that little bit of luck will come out winners. "These kind of games are like auto-pilot. You don't have to think too much because you know each other's games so much. "We have played against them loads in the last few years. They are a good side. We will never doubt that." Nevertheless, six points in front with a game in hand - assuming United win - would be a pretty healthy position if this league season was not so uncertain. "It would be a blow to them if we got six points in front," Ferdinand said. "But they were six or seven clear of us a month ago. "It can all change so quickly if you have a bad run. It would be a good boost for us if we could win but it won't define our season."