Manchester United starts benign run in title race

STEVE DOUGLAS AP Sports Writer Published:

LONDON (AP) -- With a three-point lead and an easy schedule for the Premier League run-in, Manchester United heads to Blackburn on Monday as the favorite the title.

United's trip to Ewood Park begins a run of four matches against teams currently in the division's bottom six, although manager Alex Ferguson doesn't believe that necessarily gives his team an edge over local rival Manchester City.

Ferguson says "we expect a difficult game -- that's the way all the games will be ... Blackburn, Queens Park Rangers, Wigan and (Aston) Villa are all fighting for their lives. Hopefully we can navigate them."

City will look to pressure United by extending its perfect home record to 16 matches with a victory over Sunderland on Saturday.