Title race still alive - Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson

PREMIER LEAGUE: ARSENAL v MANCHESTER UNITED

Venue:
Emirates Stadium
Date:
Sunday, 1 May
Kick-off:
1405 BST
Coverage:
Live on Sky Sports 1 and highlights on Match of the Day 2; listen on talkSPORT, BBC Radio 5 live and local radio; text commentary on BBC Sport website
Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson's side are chasing a record 19th top-flight title

Sir Alex Ferguson says the Premier League title race is not over despite Manchester United holding a six-point lead with four games left.

His team's closest challengers are Chelsea on 67 points, with Arsenal three points further back in third.

United play Arsenal away on Sunday and are at home to Chelsea on 8 May.

"There is still drama ahead. Two months ago everyone was looking at these two games as league deciders. They probably are now," said United manager Ferguson.

"The teams at the top will drop points, including Chelsea.

"If we get to the last home game [against Blackpool] needing to win it to win the league, I would be happy with that."

After the Chelsea match, United are away at Blackburn on 14 May and then finish with the visit of Blackpool eight days later.

"The slant I seemed to be getting is that Arsenal and Chelsea are expecting to win these games and change the top of the league," stated Ferguson.

"Why can't we win these matches? Surely, given the form we are in, we can.

"It is not going to be any easier for Arsenal or Chelsea than it is for us. These are difficult games."

If Chelsea beat Tottenham on Saturday and United lose at Arsenal, the Blues could go top if they win at Old Trafford.

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Ancelotti aims to prolong title race

A draw for United on Sunday would rule out such a prospect, although Ferguson is more interested in winning.

"A point away from home at Arsenal is not the worst point - but that is not what we are going down there looking for," he commented.

United will arrive high on confidence following Tuesday's 2-0 win at Schalke in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Only an unthinkable three-goal home defeat in the second leg on 4 May can deny the Red Devils a place in the final, where they are likely to meet Barcelona after the Catalans beat Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Ferguson expects to have midfielder Darren Fletcher available following a virus, while top-scorer Dimitar Berbatov has recovered from a minor groin strain.

But Ferguson may opt to continue with Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez in attack, with the pair having struck up a superb partnership.

"Wayne's form has been fantastic," the Scot added. "He and Javier have been a revelation in the last few weeks. It has given us all great hope."

While Ferguson is preparing himself for the title battle to go down to the final day of the season, a defeat for Chelsea on Saturday could lead to the silverware being secured significantly earlier.

And Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti agreed that a Spurs side that retains serious ambitions of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League would provide stern opposition.

"They will try to do everything against us because now they have a gap to close to Man City," said the Italian.

"It will not be easy because Tottenham is a very good team, very strong. but I think that we want to keep open the Premier League until the last minute.

"Obviously, we have to beat Man United, we have to beat Tottenham.

"We want to fight until the last minute of this Premier League."

Ancelotti is also aware that his side are likely to require a favour from an out-of-form Arsenal side whose own slide out of serious title contention has been described as 'frustrating' by their manager Arsene Wenger.

"I think Arsenal will do their best to win," added Ancelotti.

"They have less chance to fight for the title. But I think Man City behind them [close] [Manchester City being five points behind with a game in hand].

"If you arrive third, you don't have to play the preliminary of the Champions League."

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