Fergie - It will be intense

United boss ready for Grand Slam Sunday showdown

Sir Alex Ferguson is relishing the 'intensity' of Manchester United's Grand Slam Sunday meeting with Liverpool.

The Premier League leaders welcome their fierce rivals to Old Trafford determined to end any lingering dreams the Anfield outfit have of edging back into the title race.

Ferguson's men have turned a five-point deficit on Arsenal into a three-point lead over the Gunners in the space of four games and will be determined to consolidate their position at the summit.

The United boss knows this weekend's eagerly-anticipated match is a game every member of his squad wants to be involved in.


He told Sky Sports News: "It will be a fantastically engrossing game against Liverpool. You can't avoid the intensity of it, the tension, the atmosphere.

"It's the game that players always want to play in, so there will be some disappointed players tomorrow who are not involved.

"Having the squad I've got, I've just got to pick a team which I think is best to win the match."

Rio Ferdinand remains doubtful with a back injury, but Ferguson is hoping to have goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar back in action.

Nemanja Vidic has been given the all-clear despite being forced off after taking a blow to his nose in the midweek win over Bolton, but striker Louis Saha (hamstring) may miss out.


Ferguson added: "We're waiting to see if Ferdinand trains this morning. He and Edwin van der Sar need to train to give me the confidence to play them.

"I'm doubtful over Ferdinand, but hopeful over Van der Sar. That would be a bonus really, having one of the two, given the experience of them.

"Vidic is OK, it's a nose knock. He's had it twice in a row and he maybe needs it cauterised, but we'll wait until after the game.

"(Gerard) Pique did very well for me the other night, that's why I played him, and that's why I tried Owen Hargreaves at right-back. I'd be comfortable enough with that.

"Louis Saha got a knock on Wednesday, we'll have to wait and see what he's like. I thought he was OK yesterday, but it just flared up a little bit after training."


Gary Neville came through a reserve outing unscathed and is finally pushing for a return to the first team after over a year on the sidelines.

Ferguson said: "Gary played the full 90 minutes and had no reaction, which is what we're finding now, there's an improvement.

"He showed incredible enthusiasm and was up and down the pitch all day.

"I was really, really pleased for him, I don't think he's far away now."