United relish derby clash
Manchester United will look to avenge their shock defeat by struggling Wolves when they host neighbours City at Old Trafford this weekend. The 2-1 loss last week was the Red Devils' first league defeat of the season, although its impact was slightly diminished when closest rivals Arsenal squandered a four-goal lead to draw 4-4 at Newcastle and Chelsea lost 1-0 at home to Liverpool.
It means Sir Alex Ferguson's men are four points clear of the Gunners at the top of the English Premier League with Saturday's opponents a further point behind.
Midfielder Darren Fletcher told the club's official website: "We've got to go to Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal and we play Manchester City this weekend. There are a lot of big matches ahead. But we enjoy big games here. This club is all about performing and rising to those challenges."
Patrick Vieira has warned Manchester City to expect a United backlash. "We must expect a backlash and a battle," Vieira told Abu Dhabi-based paper The National. "Big clubs like United always talk about the importance of never losing two times in a row. They will want to bounce back to winning ways immediately."
Arsenal will be ruing last week's capitulation which would have taken them within two points of United. The Gunners now face United's conquerors Wolves at the Emirates Stadium. While Wolves have a good record against the top sides with wins over Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as United, they are still second bottom.
Defender Roland Zubar told the club's official website: "I know a bit about Arsenal with there being some French players there. They were very disappointed about the draw with Newcastle and having been 4-0 up it felt like a loss. They will want to put that right by beating us and it's their home game with the chance to show something positive to their fans."
Reds, Spurs seek more of the same
Tottenham, in fifth, have won their last two league games but face a tough trip to seventh-placed Sunderland as they look to leapfrog Chelsea, who do not play until Monday. Liverpool are the form team and will seek their fifth successive victory when they host Wigan in a vital game for both sides.
The Reds have climbed to sixth under Kenny Dalglish and are six points adrift of Tottenham and Chelsea, who occupy the fourth UEFA Champions League spot. The Latics have taken four points from the last two games but they occupy the third relegation place.
West Brom and West Ham meet in a huge relegation clash. The Baggies are outside the drop zone on the narrowest of goal difference margins while the Hammers are bottom, albeit just two points from safety. Blackpool are on a desperate dip having lost eight games out of nine in all competitions in 2011 and host Aston Villa who are steadily improving.
In Saturday's other games, Birmingham - two above the drop zone - host Stoke while Newcastle visit Blackburn. Sunday's game pits Bolton against Everton while Fulham and Chelsea meet at Craven Cottage on Monday.