This time last season Arsenal were top of the table, two points ahead of Manchester United. They had lead from the top all season, brushing off the criticis with every passing month. When they five points clear half way through February, people were wondering if they were going to end up with egg on their face. Every one believed that sooner or later Arsenal’s inexperience would get the better of them, but with just a couple of months remaining, they had a great advantage.

Liverpool are in the same position this season, their fans really believing this will be their year, after close to two decades of disappointment.

Just as we trailed Arsenal by 5 points last season, it is 7 points we need to catch up on Liverpool, although we do have two games in hand. We have been to the grounds of all the teams who finished in the top ten last season, including all of the other teams in the current top six, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Everton, meaning all our most difficult games are behind us. The first half of the season was Liverpool’s chance to really put us under pressure, but if we were to win our games in hand, they have just 1 point on us… and our fixtures are easier.

“There’s no doubt that in the second half of the season they will get nervous,” said Ferguson. “With the experience we’ve got, having won a couple of titles in the past couple of years especially, it helps you. There’s no doubt about that. They’re going into the unknown, and if you make mistakes, then you get punished.”