Ferguson fired up for crunch clash with Chelsea

April 25, 2008

Sir Alex Ferguson believes his Manchester United side have 'a great incentive' to shake off any feelings of fatigue and win at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

Victory against Chelsea will effectively see United secure the Barclays Premier League title for a second successive season, given their superior goal difference.

Ferguson's main concern is that his players may be weary from Wednesday's night's Champions League semi-final against Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

The first leg finished 0-0, leaving United in good heart for Tuesday's return match.

Chelsea are also quietly confident of making the final in Moscow after getting a dramatic draw at Liverpool 24 hours before United played.

Ferguson knows the stakes are high in London and told MUTV: 'There is a great incentive for us.

'What we have to do first of all though is get the players recovered from Barcelona.

'We have the disadvantage of a day's less rest than Chelsea and then there is the travelling of course.

'We will do our best. We will get the players rested and hopefully we will be all right for Saturday.'

Ferguson knows Chelsea will be fired up following their equaliser at Anfield, thanks to John Arne Riise's own goal in injury-time.

'As far as the second leg is concerned, there is no doubt Chelsea's morale will have been boosted,' said the United boss.

'It was a great result for them, particularly the time of the equaliser.

'They have a marvellous chance of getting to Moscow after that away goal.

'Liverpool have to score at Stamford Bridge and they are capable of doing that. It is still an even game and a tight one to call.'

Midfielder Michael Carrick cannot wait for matchday at the moment, with the Chelsea clash sandwiched between the two Champions League games.

He said: 'If you want to win things and be challenging, you have to deal with these matches.

'We have another great game coming up on Saturday and everyone is looking forward to it.'

Serbia defender Nemanja Vidic looks certain to remain sidelined tomorrow after needing hospital treatment in Spain for a stomach virus.