Giggs accepts pressure is on United
Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs knows last week's late collapse against Everton has piled extra pressure on his side as they prepare to welcome rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford.
United conceded two goals in stoppage time to throw away two points against Everton, and with the other Merseyside team up next in the Premier League, Giggs knows things are not about to get any easier.
He told www.manutd.com: "It's always a big game but it's even more so after what happened at Everton. The fans will be up for it and so will the players, these are the games you want to play in. It's always tough, but hopefully it'll be a good game."
United followed up the 3-3 draw against Everton with a goalless stalemate against Rangers in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. Whilst the result was a disappointment, there were some positives for United - the return to action of Wayne Rooney, kept out of the spotlight last weekend by Sir Alex Ferguson, and Rio Ferdinand, who had been out of action for four months due to a knee injury.
"It was good to see Rooney and Rio back," said Giggs. "Rio has been out for a while - it's great for him to get some minutes under his belt even though he didn't have a great deal to do."
United will be without Antonio Valencia, who has been ruled out for much of the rest of the season after suffering a serious ankle injury against Rangers. Anything other than a win could start to set alarm bells ringing, as Chelsea are already four points clear and, with a home match against Blackpool to come on Sunday, they could extend the gap further.
Sunday's other game sees title hopefuls Manchester City travel to Wigan, while Arsenal will look for a repeat of their sublime performance against Braga in the Champions League yesterday when they go to Sunderland on Saturday. Aston Villa host Bolton in the last match before Gerard Houllier takes his place on the bench, while elsewhere in the West Midlands, Birmingham go to local rivals West Brom.
Paul Scharner, who made his Baggies debut in 1-1 draw against Tottenham last Saturday, told www.wba.co.uk: "I expect them to be right in our faces and it will be up to us to play good one-touch and two-touch football. They play straightforward and try and get possession in the opponents' half. Derbies produce a fighting spirit in the stadium. If you win of course you're a hero in the area."
West Ham will be searching for their first win of the campaign when they visit Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, while Mick McCarthy's Wolves will travel up to White Hart Lane and face Tottenham.
With Fulham hit by the news that Bobby Zamora will be out for five months, Mark Hughes will be rallying his troops as they face a stern test against his former club Blackburn at Ewood Park, while Everton will hope to take their momentum from last week into their clash with Newcastle.