English Premiership

Van Persie demands focus

2013-01-12 11:10
Robin van Persie (AP)

Manchester - Robin van Persie has urged his Manchester United team-mates not to get carried away by their seven-point lead at the top of the English Premier League ahead of Sunday's clash with Liverpool.

United face their old enemies at Old Trafford and victory will put them 10 points clear of second-place Manchester City, who do not play at Arsenal until later in the day.

The Dutchman, who has netted 16 league goals this term after a £24m close-season move from Arsenal, wants his side to maintain focus.

"It is only seven points, you have to look at it game by game. We still have to go through the entire second half of the league and almost play everyone one more time," said Van Persie.

"Nothing is decided. It will be tough and it will be hard. This weekend we have Liverpool and it's a massive game for us."

Van Persie has also warned against complacency when United meet Brendan Rodgers's side, who trail the leaders by 21 points after coming through a difficult start to their campaign.

"We have to look at the three points and it's a bit like a derby, the teams being so close to each other," said Van Persie, who netted in injury time to earn United a 2-2 draw at West Ham United in the FA Cup last weekend.

"There is so much history between them and there have been some great games over the years, going back a long way. They are a great team and, on their day, they can make it a really hard game for us."

United defender Rio Ferdinand is also relishing the clash with United's arch rivals.

"I would say it is the fixture we look forward to first," he said.

"The rivalry runs deep. Liverpool have not been up there fighting for the championship, but the fans and the players are well versed in what this means to us as a club.

"I always enjoy playing against Liverpool, either at Anfield or Old Trafford. Hopefully this is another good, exciting and winning occasion for us.

"It is special. Whilst I have been here, there have been loads of great moments. You just want to add your name and be a part of a team that adds to that long list of events that have gone on."

Alex Ferguson has revealed Nani and Anderson will return to United's squad for Sunday's game, but the United manager says Wayne Rooney will not be ready despite returning to training on Friday.

Liverpool manager Rodgers is hoping his side can take advantage of United's leaky defence on Sunday as the Reds look to claim just their second win at Old Trafford in seven years.

United have conceded 28 goals so far in the Premier League - the most out of the top 10 teams in the division - but have the best goal difference thanks to their prolific strike-force.

"They will probably be disappointed with the number of goals they have conceded this season and as we create a lot of opportunities, we are hoping we can go and take a result," said Rodgers.

Since losing 3-1 at Stoke City on December 26, Liverpool have won three consecutive games, culminating in last weekend's 2-1 win at fifth-tier minnows Mansfield Town in the FA Cup.

With a hostile atmosphere sure to await Liverpool at Old Trafford, Rodgers has urged his players not to let themselves down.

"It's a very proud club. This is a group of proud players," he said.

"You're defending more than just the club in this game - this is a city that is very passionate.

"It's a football game and we are high in confidence and we go into the game in a good moment, having won seven of our last nine games. We have good confidence and belief."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Klopp reveals EPL interest

2014-11-22 08:42

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette
Pro-skater Tony Hawk rides a hoverboard!
Fixtures
22 November 2014
Stoke City v Burnley, Britannia Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Swansea City, Etihad Stadium 17:00
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 17:00
Leicester City v Sunderland, King Power Stadium 17:00
Newcastle United v Queens Park Rangers, St. James' Park 17:00
Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Arsenal v Manchester United, Emirates Stadium 19:30
23 November 2014
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 15:30
Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur, The KC Stadium 18:00
24 November 2014
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

How long will Mario Balotelli last at Liverpool?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.