Ferguson dismisses overseas plan

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Sir Alex Ferguson has condemned the idea of a 39th Premier League game to be played in Asia.

The concept first arose last spring but was greeted with widespread anger by the football community, with fans claiming it went against the principles of a league system and Asian football chiefs arguing it would adversely affect their own countries' domestic competitions.

And Ferguson said: "I don't think there will ever be a 39th game and I don't believe there should be. I certainly am not in favour of it."

He added: "You look at our domestic programme allied to our cup competitions. It is impossible."

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand has dismissed stuttering rivals Arsenal's chances of landing the Premier League title.

While the Manchester United defender does accept winning the championship is not beyond Arsene Wenger's men, even though they are currently eight points adrift of league leaders Liverpool, he feels it will eventually prove too big a gap to bridge.

Instead, Ferdinand is convinced United, Liverpool and Chelsea will surge clear before one of the trio drops away, leaving just two to battle it out at the end.

The opinion is not likely to go down well at the Emirates Stadium but, speaking ahead of Thursday's Club World Cup encounter with Gamba Osaka in Yokohama, Ferdinand is certain Arsenal will drop away.

"It is not beyond Arsenal but it is my personal opinion that it will be between the other three this season," said the 30-year-old centre-half.

"At the moment it looks like being nip and tuck but usually from Christmas onwards the teams who are going to be there at the end start pulling away. I can see that happening this season. I presume ourselves, Chelsea and Liverpool will pull away, then it will be down to two and finally one."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
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