Manchester United will know nothing short of three points will do against a dangerous Swansea City side if they are to retain their six-point lead at the top of the English Premier League table, with Manchester City winning against Reading Saturday.
United have been prolific in front of goal this term, with the likes of Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney making merry. However, against Swansea, who are tenth on 23 points, the Red Devils will have to be at their best to ensure a victory at the Liberty Stadium.
"We've seen the results Swansea have had and the progress they've made as a football club," Ferguson told reporters. "But the way they do it is the important thing for me.
"They try to play and have the courage to play their football which is good to see."
Ferguson will be without Rafael for a second straight game, while Shinji Kagawa and Nani are also ruled out. Jonny Evans, who signed a new contract with the club, however, is available after recovering from a hamstring problem.
"Rafael is still out with a hamstring injury, Nani is still injured," Ferguson said. "(Nemanja) Vidic might not be ready to start. Evans is fit and Kagawa takes training with the first team on Monday.
"Vida is doing great in training, it's just a matter of picking the time to bring him back. It gives me options with (Chris) Smalling, (Phil) Jones, (Rio) Ferdinand and Evans."
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is concentrating on the Christmas and New Year fixtures before reassessing his side's capabilities for the rest of the season.
"It's important to look at the bigger picture," Laudrup said. "We are coming up to the halfway point of the season and whatever happens between now and then, we will have 23 points on the board.
"That is three more than at the same stage last season, and we can then look back at what we have achieved and see what targets we can set for the remainder of the season.
"But the next six or seven weeks are crucial for us. If we suffer a couple of defeats then it's not a problem because we have so many more games coming up."
"Of course we would like to win on Sunday, but if we do then there will be a lot of focus on the club again. My focus now is on the next four games, but we have to take one at a time."
Swansea will welcome back Michel Vorm after the goalkeeper missed eight weeks through injury, with Pablo Hernandez also expected to return. Right-back Angel Rangel, though, remains sidelined.
Expected lineups: Swansea: Vorm; Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies; Britton, Ki; Dyer, De Guzman, Routledge; Michu.
Manchester United: De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Young; Rooney; Van Persie.
Prediction: 3-2 to Manchester United
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