Ferguson fears for his defence

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that if his Manchester United side put in a performance similar to their 4-3 win over Reading on Saturday evening in this weekend’s Manchester derby, then they can expect to be handed a beating.

There were seven goals scored in 35 crazy minutes at the Madjeski Stadium and some of United’s defending was of Sunday League standard. Ferguson even made a substitution during the first-half and Rafael made way for Chris Smalling.

The game against Manchester City this weekend is a huge one and could have a massive say on the title – which is why the Scotsman clearly has fears about his side’s back four. Nemanja Vidic trained on Tuesday afternoon, but it looks as though Sunday will come too quickly for him to return from injury.

Without disrespecting Reading, if the Red Devils offer the same sort of chances to City this weekend, then they could be in danger of letting history repeat itself. Everyone remembers Roberto Mancini’s travelling to Old Trafford last season and thrashing United 6-1.

At the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon, Ferguson knows his men have to be defensively solid if they are to take anything from it.

He said: “If we perform like that on Sunday then God knows what’s going to happen to us.

“When you see the goals against – we’ve lost 32 already – I can’t remember us losing so many goals before Christmas.

“It’s a concern, there’s no question about that. When you see City have Balotelli, Dzeko – all really tall players – it’s going to be a big challenge.”

Although the Royals did put in some fantastic crosses last Saturday, they should still not have scored as many goals they did and Mancini is sure to be telling his side to pile the balls into the box and land corners just under the crossbar.

Although City are not firing on all cylinders right now and scoring goals left, right and centre – they are sure to take full advantage if their opponents are looking weak at the back.

In terms of the title race, Ferguson’s men can move six points clear if they manage to beat Man City – something no team has been able to in the top flight this campaign. The home side know they can move level with a win and that all three points would really give them some momentum going into the busy Christmas period.

Tommy graduated from Sheffield University in 2009 with a Journalism degree and has worked in various professional industry posts including the football print media.