Manchester, May 11
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes title rivals Manchester City could suffer untold damage if they fail to secure the Premier League on Sunday.
City will secure their first top-flight crown for 44 years if they defeat relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers on the final day of the season at the Etihad Stadium.
Roberto Manciniís side are level on points at the top of the table but boast a superior goal difference.
Any slip by City will allow United, who are away to Sunderland, to claim a record 20th crown if they better the result of their neighbours.
Ferguson told reporters at a press conference in Manchester on Friday that he expects City to win. But the long-serving United manager believes Manciniís side could be damaged if they mess up at the final hurdle.
"We can only do our best and try and win the match. Hopefully something stupid happens to City," said Ferguson, who revealed England defender Chris Smalling will miss Euro 2012 with a groin injury.
"On the face of it you expect City to win and so do I. But City have got to win. Itís an enormous challenge for them because the disappointment of losing the game would be unbelievable.
"Itís untold at this moment in time what effect it could have on them. "Itís the last game of the season. Itís fantastic for the neutral, fantastic for the media but agony for both clubs although it will be more so for City if they lose it."
Ferguson is hoping QPR, who will be relegated if they lose and Bolton win at Stoke, take a leaf from the book of his former club Aberdeen.
The Scot led Aberdeen to a suprise victory over Real Madrid in the European Cup Winnersí Cup on May 11 1983 in Sweden.
"Do you know what I was doing 29 years ago today?" added 70-year-old Ferguson.
"I took a wee team called Aberdeen to Sweden to beat Real Madrid in a European final with 11 players home-bred, with the oldest player 27-years-old. Thatís QPRís challenge - to do an Aberdeen.
"Of course the odds are stacked against them, City are in good form and are at home. But as long as human beings are human beings you never know. You hope something stupid happens.
"QPR are fighting for their Premier League future.
"They have invested a lot of money to get where they are. But probably most of the players will be put on the list, (if they go down) all of the players will have their salaries halved from what I can gather, things like that."
Toni Nadal slams Madrid blue clay
Rafa Nadalís uncle and coach Toni has added his voice to growing criticism of the Madrid Openís blue clay courts, and hit out at tournament owner Ion Tiriac and the menís tour organisers the ATP over the switch from the traditional red dirt.
World number two Nadal, who was knocked out in the third round by Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco on Thursday, and number one Novak Djokovic have complained the blue clay is too slippery and have threatened to boycott the Masters event next year unless the red surface is reinstated.
"The fact that the ATP gave permission for this tournament is an outrage," Toni Nadal told Spanish radio.
"One of the highlights of Rafaís year is playing in Madrid and what has happened is that this event puts the Spanish players, who are more (traditional) clay players, at a disadvantage," he added.
"So you say ĎI want to play in Madrid but not at the cost of my health nor at the cost of losing my feeling on the courtí."
Toni said that once he and his nephew, who had been chasing a third consecutive clay-court title of the season, had arrived in the Spanish capital, and trained on the blue courts, he had advised him to pull out.
"If he had listened to me he wouldnít have played this year," he said, before criticising Tiriac, a Romanian former player turned promoter who has masterminded the innovation.
Tiriac argues that the blue courts make it easier for television viewers to follow the yellow balls.
"How much power must this guy have if they let him change the customs and habits of the players," Toni Nadal said.
"But the main culprit is the ATP," he added.
"He can do what he wants at his own tournament, but the ATP should not have given him permission and I expect them to withhold it next year."
The ATP has said the blue courts are a one-year experiment and a decision will be taken on whether to keep them for 2013 once all feedback has been considered.