Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has challenged his side to finish the year on a high at the top of the table, starting by recording three points against Fulham on Wednesday as Bet365 report increased free bets on his side for the Premiership title betting markets.
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United briefly reached the summit of the table on Sunday as they brushed aside QPR 2-0, before rivals Manchester City re-established their two point lead with a 1-0 win over Arsenal a few hours later.
The Red Devils have responded well to being dumped out of the Champions League earlier this month, and recorded a convincing 4-1 win over Wolves before picking up all three points thanks to efforts from Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick at Loftus Road.
Now Ferguson says he is targeting going into the New Year in 1st place, describing it as “important” to overhaul City’s lead going into 2012.
“The important thing is to be there on New Year’s Day.” The Scot said.
He added: “If you’re involved right at the top part then you know the second half of the season, we’ll relish that.”
Ferguson also reserved words of praise for the centre midfield partnership of Carrick and Phil Jones, who may be forced to reprise their role for the game against Fulham.
Tom Cleverly and Anderson remain on the sidelines meaning Ferguson will likely call upon Jones to step into the unfamiliar midfield role once more.
There was some good news for the reigning champions in the game against QPR after Javier Hernandez made his comeback from injury, with the Mexican international in contention for a starting spot at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.
A stunning strike from Bryan Ruiz helped Fulham claim a vital 2-0 win over Bolton on Saturday, and manager Martin Jol will be hoping his side can spring a surprise on United to further make up for their disappointing mid-week exit from the Europa League against Odense.