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Man Utd boss Ferguson: This is Berbatov's big chance

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has complete faith in Dimitar Berbatov going into today's showdown with Chelsea. It is obvious the loss of Wayne Rooney causes him a problem ahead of Saturday's top of the table clash with Chelsea.

Yet, in making a single striker his preferred formation, in which Berbatov has no role, Ferguson has given himself an instant replacement.

The Bulgarian cannot be expected to match Rooney's work-rate - few in the United squad could - but the Red Devils spent a club record £30.75million on him for a reason and Ferguson does not expect the former Tottenham striker to let him down in his hour of need.

"I haven't liked leaving Dimitar out - and now he is in," said the United boss, who is aware public perception of Berbatov is not totally favourable.

"The split must be 80-20 in his favour.

"If we sign a big player and he is not scoring 50 goals a season, including 16 overhead kicks, you are always going to get a discerning voice.

"Everyone has their own favourites and supporters have diverse views.

"I used to get a letter from a supporter saying I was off my head because I wasn't playing Steve Bruce at centre forward, although in fairness it was probably Brucie writing it himself or his granny."

Berbatov has produced a couple of battling performances in Rooney's absence lately, which have guided United to crucial victories at Wolves and Bolton.

He is more likely to attack with a sword than a sledgehammer, but Ferguson is confident Chelsea will still feel the same thrust.

"The one thing you cannot dismiss is Dimitar's ability and talent," he said.

"He is a fantastic player.

"He can play on his own up front. What you need is to give him good support."

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