The tension in the build-up to the final matches of the Premier League season is starting to show, with champions Manchester United at the helm.On Sunday, United host Blackpool at Old Trafford while Wolves entertain Blackburn at Molineux.
The Midlands club’s owner Steve Morgan fired an early salvo in the showdown relegation battle on Thursday, claiming it would be “hypocritical” of the Premier League if they did not fine United for fielding a weakened side against Blackpool.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has taken that step in the past for matches with West Ham and Hull on the last day of league campaigns.
The Blackpool match is less than a week before the Champions League final, with speculation mounting that Ferguson will rest several key players.
Wolves were handed a suspended 25,000 pounds fine for making 10 changes for a match against United last season and Blackpool were fined during this campaign for adopting the same approach at Aston Villa.
“We can only do what we have to do,” Morgan said.
“I think United put out a second string against Schalke and it didn’t do them much good.”
“I don’t know what they will do. United are a very professional club and will not want to lose on the final day, on the day they get presented with the Premier League trophy.”
“They are not going to want to lose going into the Champions League final.”
But, when asked if he expected United to be fined by the Premier League if they field a weakened side, Morgan said: “It would be pretty hypocritical if they weren’t (fined).”
Meanwhile, Blackpool defender Ian Evatt believes Sir Alex Ferguson will ignore the pleas of other managers and pick whatever team he pleases.
Evatt is convinced Ferguson will not care what anyone says and will do what he likes.
“Sir Alex Ferguson has won the Premier League 19 times,” Evatt said.
“He will do his own thing and what he thinks is best for his own club.”
“No matter which manager pipes up and says Sir Alex should be doing this, or even if the Premier League say he shouldn’t do something, he will do what he thinks is best for Manchester United.”
“If that means playing the reserves, he’ll play them. If he wants to play the first team, he’ll do that.”
“We could worry about that all day long but we won’t because it is important we concentrate on ourselves and play like we have been playing.”
“For us it is like a play-off final or a cup final but it’s the same for the other teams down there.”
“As long as we get three points we will have a great chance of staying in this division.”
“If we get a victory and are unlucky enough to go down with 42 points, then I don’t think we could have done much more.”
“We would certainly be able to all hold our heads up high.”