Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted it is pointless expecting Wigan to get anything from Chelsea on Sunday.
Manchester United will head into the final day of the Premier League season still with a chance of landing a record fourth title on the trot. Yet Ferguson knows the odds are stacked against his team.
"It's pointless going into the game expecting anything from Chelsea in our favour," said Ferguson.
Quite apart from beating Stoke at Old Trafford, the Red Devils are reliant on Wigan avoiding defeat at Chelsea, a feat that has only been achieved twice this season and the Latics have managed just once in four previous league visits to Stamford Bridge.
With so much at stake for Carlo Ancelotti's men, it looks like a forlorn hope, which Ferguson is refusing to consider too deeply.
He added: "I have confidence that Wigan will do their best and they will try. There's pressure on both us and Chelsea because we both need to win but I don't know what's going on in Chelsea's minds - all I know is that in this situation we just hope. You never know.
"But I will find out what has happened because there are TV people standing in front of you, people beside you and the crowd reaction sometimes tells you."
Ferguson's starting line-up of the season is likely to be an attacking one, given his stated intention is to bow out with a flourish in front of the Old Trafford faithful. Then the United boss will probably reflect on an opportunity missed given Chelsea have suffered six defeats in a season when they have also managed to take maximum points off their main rivals, their victory at Old Trafford coming in between two ties with Bayern Munich that shaped the Red Devils' season.
"A bad week might have cost us everything," said the United boss. "The biggest disappointment was the European Cup. It's an absolute travesty because we were the best team.
"We had a good opportunity to win it but we took the disappointment into the first half against Chelsea."
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