Football

Ferguson predicts tough Chelsea test

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Sir Alex Ferguson says he is unsurprised by Chelsea's strong start to the 2011-12 campaign, and reserved praise for the way Andre Villas-Boas has made an instant impact at Stamford Bridge.

As the reigning Barclays Premier League champions prepare to lock horns with the Blues in Sunday's clash at Old Trafford, Ferguson will approach the game with caution, respecting the threat that Chelsea undoubtedly possess.

"It will be a fantastic game," he predicted. "The games with Chelsea over the last seven years have been very close affairs. There's usually only one goal in it and I think it will be tight again on Sunday.

"They're a team with great experience and they'll pose a challenge to us. Chelsea will be there at the end of the season. There's no doubt about that."

 

The Red Devils boss drew comparisons between the Portuguese coach's arrival in west London to his own rise to prominence - citing his success at Porto as a blessing to help gain respect from his Chelsea players.

"The new coach has started very well. It's a hard challenge at his age but he's acquitted himself very well and his team have responded, which is what you hope for as a new manager at a club.

"It's similar to when I came from Aberdeen, I'd achieved something," he continued. "Andre Villas-Boas won the Double last year so that's a help [in gaining respect from players].

"That stands him in good stead in terms of the start of his tenure at Chelsea. After that, the impression that the players get from him in terms of his knowledge of the game and man-management skills, that's all in the future."

Looking ahead to Sunday's clash, Ferguson reported no fresh injury concerns for Manchester United as he looks to prolong the club's 100 per cent start to the domestic season, and will have a strong squad to pick from.

"We came through the Benfica game without any injuries," he confirmed. "We have a full squad for Sunday."

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Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Manchester United

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