Rafa Benitez Plays the Odds in War of Words with Sir Alex Ferguson

Tim AndersonCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2009

Take a close look at where we are at the moment in the league.

With Man U Chelsea on Sunday, what is the first thing people will be looking for at half time? Man U officials hassling the referees. Even if Ferguson is right to argue a point on Sunday, it will make a picture that confirms what Benitez has said. Will Ferguson then hold back, even if he's right, afraid of verifying the Liverpool manager?

SAF didn't have time to reply to Liverpool's comments, giving headlines to Benitez until Sunday. Another bonus.

The other thing he attacked SAF for was the fixtures. After Chelsea Man U play three fixtures in a week as they catch up their missing fixtures. By saying SAF complains about fixtures, he is guessing that sometime this week (particularly if things don't turn out all winningly for Man U) that SAF will make a complaint about the fixture schedule. Or will he, knowing that everyone will be watching for his comments to see if they verify what Benitez has said?

Benitez played and beat Real Madrid and Barcelona at mind games in Spain, so there is little doubt he can handle pressure. His team is playing a team lacking severly with confidence, so the odds are in his favour to be on top come the end of the weekend, regardless of other results.

Benitez has gambled, but if he was going to, his timing is spot on.