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Fletcher - Utd must beat Blues

Fletcher: Title chaser

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Darren Fletcher believes Chelsea remain Manchester United's 'biggest rivals' in this season's title race.

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"Chelsea are our biggest rivals again this season because of the experience of being there before. Arsenal have come on strong this year but when it comes to the main challengers, you've got to look to the champions."

Darren Fletcher

Quotes of the week

Sunday's meeting between the pair has been postponed by bad weather, but the Blues have wobbled badly of late, allowing United and Arsenal to edge ahead of them in the battle to secure the top-flight crown.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are the reigning champions, though, and it would be foolish to write them off halfway through the 2010/11 campaign.

No-one at Old Trafford will be doing that, with Red Devils midfielder Fletcher admitting that United fully expect Chelsea to come good.

The Scot is, however, pleased with the progress made by Sir Alex Ferguson's men this season, with a two-point lead opened up on the back of an unbeaten start.

Emergence

"Chelsea are our biggest rivals again this season because of the experience of being there before," Fletcher told the Daily Mail.

"Arsenal have come on strong this year but when it comes to the main challengers, you've got to look to the champions and the fact they know how to win the Premier League.

"But I think we're fairly happy in terms of where we are in the table.

"You've seen the emergence of players as well. Anderson has come back from injury and been fantastic, Nani has been arguably our best player this season, Wayne Rooney is hitting form and Dimitar Berbatov has scored 11 goals.

"We haven't hit the form we know we're capable of yet but that will come."

Experience

Fletcher hopes to play a leading role for United over the remainder of the campaign, with his experience now crucial in helping to mould Ferguson's crop of emerging youngsters.

"You see yourself growing into the role a little bit," he said on his added responsibility.

"It's great having the experience of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville around you but slowly the next generation are gaining that experience and have to be the ones to follow in their footsteps.

"You find yourself and speak to younger players but that's just a natural progression of being at a club for a long time.

"There's a number of us at that level now - Nemanja (Vidic), Wayne, Rio (Ferdinand), myself - and we feel as if there's another crop the manager has got."