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'Game of the season'

Ferguson believes Man Utd vs Liverpool is the biggest club game in the world

Sir Alex Ferguson insists Manchester United's meetings with Liverpool still represent the highlight of the Premier League fixture calendar despite the emergence of cross-town rivals City.


Alex Ferguson. Pic/Getty Images

The veteran United manager takes his side to Anfield today for the first meeting between the traditional north-west rivals this season at a time when Manchester City appear to be credible title contenders. Ferguson is adamant that his team's encounters with Liverpool remain the highlight of any campaign, not only for him but for the English game in general.

"They are the two most successful clubs in England, historically," said Ferguson. "Also, from an industrial point of view, the way industry changed when they opened the (Manchester) Ship Canal -- it's all to do with the history of both clubs and the history of both cities, Liverpool and Manchester.

"And it's an inherent situation. It has been there since I came. To me, although things may change in the next two or three years with Manchester City which mean that a derby game, United-City, could equal a Manchester United-Liverpool game, I have always considered this to be the game of the season in English football." The rivalry between the two clubs has not always manifested itself in a positive manner with the two sets of supporters all too often displaying a clear hostility towards each other.

Ferguson, however, believes the rival fans should show more respect towards each other. "That's (hostility) never going to change. But I think both clubs need each other to be honest with you," added Ferguson. "The history both clubs have should be appreciated."

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