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The Blues visit leaders United for a potential title decider and they could not be higher on confidence after 12bet hitting 12 goals in four days, having already drubbed Portsmouth 5-0.
He said: “Arsenal will be disappointed to have conceded a late goal, but we will all drop points.
Rio Ferdinand was also absent, but Fergie insisted the England captain has a groin problem rather than a recurrence of the back strain that has decimated his season.
United face Bayern Munich in a Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday before the title showdown with Chelsea at Old Trafford next Sunday.
“They key is not dropping as many points as the other teams.”
“We have to forget the little rut we’ve been in and concentrate on the target now.”
Sir Alex Ferguson saw Manchester United go back to the top without Wayne Rooney – but promised his 33-goal striker will be back for the two games which could make-orbreak the season.
BLUE leaves him third on the club’s all-time goalscorers list behind Bobby Tambling with 202 and Kerry Dixon’s 193.
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Byline: CHRIS HATHERALL
Rooney, who has been struggling with a knee injury, missed the 4-0 demolition of Bolton with a bruised foot.
“But Villa have got good players throughout their side so when you do that to them, well, you can’t say enough about it.
Lampard has chosen the right time to hit top form himself and has hit a bestever 21 this season.
“Wayne has got a bruise on his foot. All rights reserved.
FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL: West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola BLUE MURDER Anelka and Malouda mob Lampard after his hat-trick
Lampard’s goals took his tally for the Blues to 151 and
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Ferguson believes it is still a three-horse race for the title – despite Arsenal’s draw at Birmingham.
He admitted: “It was right up there with our best performance. There was a 6-0 against Manchester City and then a 2-0 against Villa last season, when it could have been six or seven.
“And that’s having a bad season,” he sniped. “The title race has opened up with the way we’ve played in the last few games in particular and we want to take advantage.”
“We’ve beaten Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal playing different formations.
Fergie said: “They are both a bit tender but they should be fit for Tuesday night.
United might lead the table by a point after their 4-0 win at Bolton, but Chelsea have scored two goals more, which could be crucial in the weeks ahead.
FRANK LAMPARD roared out a warning to Manchester United after scoring four times – a week before Chelsea go to Old Trafford.
“Listen, we know the quality of the players we have, we’ve shown that over the course of the season.. If he had played against Bolton and got a whack then he would have been doubtful for Bayern.”
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning