Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says beating Liverpool and Manchester City is more satisfying than victories over Chelsea

Ahead of Jose Mourinho bringing his team to Old Trafford, Ferdinand plays down the fixture

Rio Ferdinand does not believe beating Chelsea is as sweet as getting one over on old rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

Manchester United have all three clubs to face over the next month in what manager David Moyes has claimed is the Red Devils' toughest start to a league campaign for 20 years.

Chelsea are the team tipped by many to claim United's title following the return of Jose Mourinho, so victory over the Blues at Old Trafford on Monday would be particularly significant.

Yet for all their money, charismatic manager and trophies over the past decade, for Ferdinand, the battles with Chelsea can never match those against Liverpool and City.

"You look forward to playing every time you step out at Old Trafford," he said. "It is a special place to play.

"We all appreciate playing there in front of our home fans and we try to put on a show.

"But the Liverpool and Manchester City games are usually hyped up a bit more than anyone else, so the feeling after winning one of those games is probably the biggest of the season."

Ferdinand was speaking at the launch of a new sponsorship between United and India-based Apollo Tyres, who will become the club's official tyre partner in the UK.

There is a novel aspect to the deal in that Apollo, through their "Go The Distance" campaign, have vowed to create football pitches for community use made out of recycled tyres.

They intend for the first of those pitches to be constructed close to Old Trafford, with others intended for use in both the United Kingdom and India.

It represents the company's first venture into a global football sponsorship, having previously been involved in tennis, but not, interestingly, cricket.

"Cricket is a great sport but it is over-crowded," said Apollo's vice-chairman and managing director Neeraj Kanwar.

"First we went into tennis. We wanted to create Grand Slam winners in India. But we didn't see that being successful.

"It made sense to try a new sport. In India football is up and coming and there is interest in the Premier League.

"Manchester United have 46million fans in the country and we believe our aims and aspirations are the same as theirs."

Meanwhile, Moyes is still mulling over whether to make an increased bid for Everton pair Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini.

Having had a joint £28million offer branded "derisory" by the Toffeemen earlier this week, Moyes has resolved not to bid separately for the players, whom he knows so well from his time at Goodison Park.

An increased offer of £35million has been suggested, although this might cause some head-scratching given there appears no obvious need to spend vast amounts on a left-back given the return to form of Patrice Evra over the past year.

It is also anticipated impressive teenager Adnan Januzaj will be rewarded with a long-term contract over the next few weeks.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty