Fergie will not be doing any favours

Trevor Steven
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WHEN Sir Alex Ferguson sits down to pick his team to visit Hull City for Sunday&rsquo;s season finale, you can rest assured that the plight of Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough will not be entering his thought process.<br /><br />With the Champions League final against Barcelona just three days away, you can perfectly understand Fergie being deliberately selective with his squad. But then again, if he picks a team which doesn&rsquo;t resemble a United side &ndash; much like he did in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton &ndash; then you would have sympathy for the north-east trio who need United to beat Hull to boost their survival bid.<br /><br />We seem to debate this every season, but the fact is that with the Premier League title in the bag and the Champions League final looming, United&rsquo;s is a pretty unique situation and it would be wrong to pass judgment until the team has been named.<br /><br />Whatever is said, however, you can guarantee Fergie won&rsquo;t care a jot, or be persuaded either way. He, quite rightly, will have one focus, and that&rsquo;s selecting a side to defend the Champions League trophy in Rome on Wednesday night.<br /><br />To be quite honest, after watching Hull lose to Stoke last Saturday, I really can&rsquo;t see Phil Brown&rsquo;s men beating whichever United side is in front of him. The Tigers look dishevelled and lacking in confidence, and I have a feeling that one more defeat on Sunday could spell the end for them.<br /><br />In order for Sunderland to go down, two teams below them would need to win and I really can&rsquo;t see that. For me, Middlesbrough look to have too much to do and I can&rsquo;t see them beating West Ham anyway, leaving Newcastle and their tricky trip to Villa. Call me an old romantic but I really can&rsquo;t see Alan Shearer going down. I think Newcastle can get a draw at Villa Park and stay up by the skin of their teeth.