MANCHESTER United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes the Premier League’s destiny will be decided by the two clashes between his side and champions Chelsea.
United were denied a record fourth successive top-flight title last season by Carlo Ancelotti’s double winners, who have begun the new season in blistering form.
And despite Arsenal’s encouraging start and the vast sums lavished by neighbours Manchester City on new players, Ferguson anticipates another two-horse race with the Blues.
“I always look at the team that wins the league the year before, you have to have a target to try to work on,” said Ferguson.
“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.”
Chelsea can already boast a four-point lead at the top of the table, having won all five of their league fixtures, although their momentum was checked on Wednesday night by a Carling Cup defeat at home to Newcastle. They face a tricky trip to Eastlands to face City tomorrow and will do without the injured Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun, while Frank Lampard is a major doubt.
United, meanwhile, have dropped points at Fulham and Everton but registered a morale-boosting victory over Liverpool last weekend and on Sunday visit a Bolton side with just one win so far this season.
Striker Dimitar Berbatov, a hat-trick hero in the 3-2 win over Liverpool, is to be invited back to the Bulgaria national team by new coach Lothar Matthaus. Berbatov, 29, announced his international retirement in May, citing personal reasons.