Sir Alex Ferugson shocked at how far ahead Manchester United are

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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he is surprised at how far ahead his side are at the top of the Premier League.

United are 15 points clear of Manchester City in second and look set to secure their 20th domestic title.

After losing to City on goal difference last season, Ferguson expected this campaign to also go down to the wire and believed the gap to be closer.

He said to Sirius XM: "With Manchester City coming on to the scene in the last couple of years and Chelsea and Tottenham - teams that are vying for that top-four position- you would expect it would be really tight."

With just nine games to go in the league, United have one hand on the crown and Ferguson revealed that he wasn't going to let goal difference come between him and the title again.

"After last season, what we said was, 'Let's make sure we don't lose on goal difference', because that's what happened last year," he added.

"Of course, our goal difference has improved dramatically, But I never thought for a minute we would be 15 points clear at this stage of the season."

With United playing on Saturday lunchtime away to Sunderland, the Scotsman is hoping that all his players away on international duty comeback unscathed and admits he will pick his team according to how long they've played.

He said: "Every coach in the country is praying that their players come back fit; that is the first thing.

"The fact that they have played last Friday and they have played tonight - we have a game at 12.30pm on Saturday away from at Sunderland -  so once I know later this evening how many minutes each player has played, I will start to think about my team for Saturday.

"I have to make sure I have some freshness in the team because we have Saturday lunchtime and then on Monday lunchtime we have Chelsea."

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