MX23RW : Tuesday, October 23 23:23:24

Ferguson: ‘Schalke game not a formality’

Sir Alex Ferguson warns Manchester United against complacency.

Alex Ferguson has stated that tonight’s second-leg Champions League semi-final against Shalke is just as important as Sunday’s clash with Chelsea.

The Red Devils go into tonight’s match with a 2-0 advantage and are heavy favourites to go through to the final. However, a Premiership clash with Chelsea on Sunday is forcing Ferguson to rest key players in preparation.

He compared the situation to last year, when United lost to Chelsea days after a Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich.

“If you look at our experience of last year, the team were very tired against Chelsea in that next game after losing in Munich,” he said. “All four [European] semi-finalists lost this weekend too and there are statistic that tell you the European games do take it out of you.

“Chelsea is massive, so I have to pick the right team [tonight] to ensure I have the same kind of freshness I need for Sunday. Hopefully I’ll have the nucleus of a team that’s still good enough to win.”

Ferguson is expected to rest Wayne Rooney tonight after he complained of a tight hamstring yesterday, while Rio Ferdinand might also sit the game out.

“I hope Manchester United don't get complacent [against Schalke],” he said. “Our work ethic will be very high in order for us to qualify.”

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City97202632323
2Liverpool97201631323
3Chelsea96302071321
4Arsenal970222111121
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs9702167921
6Bournemouth95221612417
7Watford95131312116
8Everton94321512315
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves943298115
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231516-114
11Leicester CityLeicester94051515012
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton93241013-311
13Burnley92251017-78
14West Ham UnitedWest Ham9216814-67
15Crystal Palace9216511-67
16Southampton9135614-86
17Cardiff CityCardiff9126819-115
18Fulham91261125-145
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9036418-143
20Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9027614-82

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