Giggs bullish as United look to Chelsea decider

MANCHESTER UNITED stalwart Ryan Giggs insists the Premier League leaders have not even contemplated the prospect of being knocked off their perch when title rivals Chelsea visit Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Blues are on the brink of completing a comeback in the title race many pundits thought impossible, having rediscovered their form and slashed a 15-point deficit to just three in the space of two months.

Carlo Ancelotti’s champions will reclaim top spot for the first time since 27 November 2010 if they can extend their run of five successive league wins this weekend against United.

But Giggs, who this week helped his side reach the Champions League final, is bullish about his side’s chances of arresting a wobble that has included a draw at Newcastle and defeat last weekend at Arsenal.

“We have not thought about losing a big lead,” said the Welshman (right), who is chasing a 12th league winners’ medal. “We have had some tough games where we have dropped points: Newcastle away, Arsenal away. In the Newcastle game we played well. There is probably only Arsenal in the last couple of months where we have not turned up. Generally our form is good. We are confident we can beat any team at Old Trafford.”

United’s success this season has been founded on rock solid home form – they have dropped just two points – as demonstrated on Wednesday when they ruthlessly dismantled Schalke 4-1 in the Champions League.

“If we play to the level of that performance, we will be very difficult to beat. That is the benchmark. We have to try and keep to it,” he added. “Of course reaching the Champions League final will give us a boost. Hopefully that will help us. It will be tough because Chelsea are flying at the moment but, at home, we are confident of getting that win.”

Interest in Chelsea’s preparations centre on whether manager Carlo Ancelotti will start with misfiring striker Fernando Torres. The Spain star, who has scored just once since January, began last week’s 2-1 win over Tottenham but was withdrawn after just 63 minutes.

Meanwhile, reports in Spain suggest Chelsea have approached former Real Madrid sporting director Predrag Mijatovic about replacing Frank Arnesen in a similar role next season.

Manchester United lead Chelsea by three points with just three fixtures remaining, the first of which is Sunday’s clash between the two teams. So can the west Londoners do it? The 1967-1968 suggests they are in with a decent chance. With three games left to play United led bitter rivals Manchester City by four points, although City had a game in hand. Yet it was the blue half of Manchester who ended up smiling when City snatched the title by two points.
Nathan Scarff