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Darren Fletcher says prize of toppling Liverpool still spurs United

| 22.07.2010

Darren Fletcher has reignited the league rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool by stating that the thought of overtaking the Merseyside club in number of overall titles remains an inspiration.

The north-west enemies currently sit equal on 18 wins apiece after United’s 2009 triumph and Fletcher said: “This club is all about breaking records and achieving a new status.

“To be the most successful team in the English game would mean everything to the club and to the fans especially.”

The odds suggest United have little cause to worry about Liverpool advancing their total – Roy Hodgson’s side are 14/1 to win the Premier League.

Fletcher’s team, however, are the 2/1 second-favourites to win the league, as they did for the three seasons prior to Chelsea’s (13/8) success last term.

The Scottish midfielder came on as a substitute in United’s 1-0 win over Philadelphia Union, which took place in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Gabriel Obertan scored a neat winner, after being played in by Danny Welbeck, to make it two wins from two on the club’s American tour. A 1-0 victory in their opening league match against Newcastle United is a 6/1 chance.

Feisty 26-year-old Fletcher is reaching the peak of his career and is seen by Sir Alex Ferguson as a vital member of the team, having come in for some stick from fans during his early 20s.

United’s current crop of youngsters will need to have equally as thick skin, with many spectators questioning their ability to keep the Red Devils at the top of the game. A Champions League win, at 6/1, looks less likely than in recent seasons.

Fletcher’s statement of intent comes just a day after Joe Cole, 2/1 to score against Chelsea this season, said he had joined Liverpool because they were “the biggest club in the country”.

Yet, having not won the league title since 1990, or any pot since 2006, Liverpool are in danger of losing any right to that tag soon. Indeed, they are 2/9 to not win any domestic trophy in 2010/11.

Who will win the war of words? Fletcher’s United are 15/1 to be the team with the most points with a +2 handicap, while Cole’s Liverpool are 15/1 to finish top given a 14 point lead. See the full Premier League betting market.



Richard Anderson