Friday 23 February 2018

Fergie: United's clashes with Chelsea will decide title

Alex ferguson. Photo: Getty Images
Alex ferguson. Photo: Getty Images

Mark Ogden

Alex Ferguson has dismissed the title credentials of Arsenal and Manchester City by claiming Manchester United’s games against with Chelsea will decide the Premier League title.

The two clubs have won the last six league titles between them, with Chelsea dethroning United last season and denying the Old Trafford outfit a record 19th championship.

And although Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the season and City's £130m summer spending spree have resulted in both clubs emerging as contenders in the title race, Ferguson insists that the Premier League trophy will ultimately end up at Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford.

United and Chelsea meet at Stamford Bridge on Dec 18, and at Old Trafford on May 7.

But with Chelsea winning both meetings last season, Ferguson admits that the outcome of this season’s fixtures will prove decisive.

Ferguson, speaking to CNN International, said: “The Premier League is such a difficult league, it’s almost tribalism and you can’t dismiss that impact when it comes to winning the Premier League.

“I always look at the team that wins the league the year before, you have to have a target to try to work on.

“It’s up to the rest, including us, to do that and Chelsea are the champions. They’ve had a good start to the season and I look upon them as the main danger to us. The games that will matter will probably be the ones against each other. Last year we lost both of those games and therefore that decided the title.”

Ferguson, who missed Werdnesday night’s Carling Cup third-round tie at Scunthorpe to undertake a scouting trip in Spain ahead of next Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Valencia, believes Jose Mourinho’s move from Inter Milan to Real Madrid will make the Spanish giants a force to be reckoned with once again in Europe.

He said: “You expect great improvement from Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho. Barcelona are still the most attractive team and they will be one of the main dangers with Inter Milan the most difficult to beat.

“They’ve all got their different qualities, but it’s such an exciting tournament, you can’t help but look forward to it. The Champions League is the most fantastic competition now.”

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