Ferguson Gives Up On Title Hope
Manchester United will head into the final day of the Premier League season still with a chance of landing a record fourth title on the trot. Yet Ferguson knows the odds are stacked against his team.
Quite apart from beating Stoke at Old Trafford, the Red Devils are reliant on Wigan avoiding defeat at Chelsea, a feat that has only been achieved twice this season and the Latics have managed just once in four previous league visits to Stamford Bridge.
With so much at stake for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, it looks like a forlorn hope, which Ferguson is refusing to consider too deeply.
“It’s pointless going into the game expecting anything from Chelsea in our favour,” said Ferguson. “I have confidence that Wigan will do their best and they will try.
“There’s pressure on both us and Chelsea because we both need to win but I don’t know what’s going on in Chelsea’s minds – all I know is that in this situation we just hope. You never know.
“But I will find out what has happened because there are television people standing in front of you, people beside you and the crowd reaction sometimes tells you.”
Ferguson will be without Antonio Valencia, who has been ruled out with an ankle injury, and Rio Ferdinand is expected to return.
His final starting line-up of the season is likely to be an attacking one, given his stated intention is to bow out with a flourish in front of the Old Trafford faithful.
Then the United boss will probably reflect on an opportunity missed given Chelsea have suffered six defeats in a season when they have also managed to take maximum points off their main rivals, their victory at Old Trafford coming in between two ties with Bayern Munich that shaped the Red Devils’ season.
Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti insists Chelsea will turn their back on a goal feast to ensure they earn three points and win the Premier League title for the first time since 2006.
A Chelsea win over Wigan at Stamford Bridge today will deliver the crown in Ancelotti’s debut season at the club and set them up for a league and FA Cup double.
Chelsea hammered Stoke 7-0 in their last home game and have smashed 95 goals so far this season.
But Ancelotti vows three points are more important than a century of goals and adds it will be a “tragedy” for the club if the Blues fall at the final hurdle.