Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Liverpool will do their utmost to beat Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday, even though a win or a draw for Rafa Benitez's men would hand bitter rivals United a massive advantage in the title race.
Few footballing rivalries can match the intensity of Liverpool and United's, but Sir Alex dismissed suggestions that the men on Merseyside would go easy on Chelsea to help prevent a record-breaking 19th league title ending up at Old Trafford.
"Great clubs don't throw their history and traditions away for one game," Sir Alex said. "I think Liverpool will do their best on Sunday – they have to. You depend on that resilience of the British players and players playing in British football – they know they have to go out and produce Saturday and then midweek and Saturday again. They show great attitude and character all the time."
This isn't the first time since the Premier League's inception Liverpool have had the chance to do United a favour in the championship race. In 1995, title-race rivals Blackburn Rovers went to Anfield on the final day of the season.
"We hoped and depended on Liverpool doing us a favour then and we got it," Sir Alex recalled. Unfortunately, United were held 1-1 by West Ham at Upton Park and the title went to Ewood Park.
"Liverpool had a lot of English players at the time and they understood the history of their club very well," Sir Alex said. "But I don't think there's been such a