Sir Alex Ferguson might be preparing for a Champions League semi final tonight, but the legendary Manchester United manager isn’t only focused on the match ahead.
With Chelsea to face at Old Trafford this weekend, and Manchester United three points clear in first place on the Barclays Premier League table, the title appears all but shored up for the Red Devils, who have not lost a home match all season.
But Ferguson remembers United’s loss to Chelsea last year, which resulted in the loss of the title, and won’t be taking the home advantage for granted.
"If you look at our experience of last year, the team were very tired against Chelsea in that next game after losing in Munich [in the Champions League quarter final]," Ferguson said.
"All four semi-finalists lost this weekend too and there are certain statistics that tell you the European games do take it out of you.”
Ferguson admits than when choosing his team for the Schalke semi final tonight, he is taking into account the Saturday match up with Manchester United’s rivals.
"[The Chelsea game] has to have a bearing on my team selection,” the manager said.
"We have two massive games. Both as important as the other.
"Chelsea is massive, so I have to pick the right team to ensure I have the same kind of freshness I need for Sunday's match.
"Hopefully I will have the nucleus of a team that is still good enough to win the match."
United take a 2-0 away lead into their match against Schalke tonight, and have only conceded two goals in their 2010/11 European campaign at Old Trafford – one to Marseille and one to Chelsea. And the Marseille goal was an own goal by Wes Brown.