Man Utd boss Ferguson excited about facing Stoke fans

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson expects an exciting atmosphere at Stoke City later today.

"I've been to the Britannia Stadium for quite a few games over the years, and there's always that really hot atmosphere," Ferguson said.

"They are really passionate down there, and you have to deal with that. You could be going to Sunderland, Newcastle or Anfield, they're similar situations you have to deal with."

He added: "We expect Stoke to fight for everything because if you look at the bottom of the league, there are 10 teams separated by seven points. It's the tightest I can remember.

"Last year the difference between the fourth-bottom and bottom place was 14 points, so it's a change. This season, teams at the bottom may need well over 40 points to guarantee safety, and we always say that 40 points is the safety margin."

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