Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is expecting a tough test when his side take on relegation candidates Aston Villa on Monday.
A victory could see United crowned Premier League champions, depending on if Manchester City lose at Tottenham on Sunday, but it certainly won’t be easy for the Red Devils, with Villa having just as much to play for at the other end of the table. That said punters who bet on Premier League games have probably had their title bets paid out such is the dominance of Fergie’s men this season.
With five games to go Paul Lambert’s men currently sit 17th in the Premier League standings, three points above Wigan but at this stage of the season every point matters, especially with them still play Chelsea before meeting the Latics on what promises to be a dramatic final day of the campaign.
Having lost just once in the last five, confidence is also high within the Villa camp and they certainly won’t be afraid of United, having opened up a 2-0 lead during the teams meeting earlier this season, only to eventually lose 3-2. Some brave punters who bet on football have already backed a shock result at Old Trafford.
Ferguson knows his team won’t have it easy against the plucky Midlanders and expects his players to come under plenty of pressure against one of the country’s most exciting young sides.
"We expect a scrap," the Scot told reporters. "The least you expect is for a team to fight for everything when they're down there.
"Villa showed against Stoke that they have a bit of life about them and they should have won their game against Fulham last week.
"When I saw the structure of those teams, they looked really positive selections. A lot of teams in that situation may pick a team to get something out of the game. Paul Lambert picked a team to win. There is a distinction," he added.