Valencia Aware of Tevez Threat

  • Last Updated: March 26 2012, 10:44 BST

Antonio Valencia is hoping there will be no derby fairytale for Carlos Tevez when Manchester United lock horns with title rivals Manchester City.

Carlos Tevez: Former Manchester United striker

With the battle for Premier League supremacy having become a two-horse race, it has been suggested that the destiny of the crown rests on a meeting between Manchester's top-flight heavyweights on 30th April.

Victory for either side would hand them vital momentum heading down the final straight, and there are numerous sub-plots set to play out before and during the contest.

Tevez's possible involvement against his former employers provides the most intriguing pre-match tale, with the Argentine having only recently returned to the City side after a self-imposed exile.

United are fully aware of his qualities and Valencia admits the Red Devils will need to pay extra attention to a man who would relish the opportunity to dash their title dreams.

He said in The Sun: "If Carlos plays against us, I'm sure he'll be motivated. He's an excellent player, able to change a match in an instant. What he did against Chelsea was no surprise.

"But for Tevez to score the winner? I hope it doesn't happen.

"And for us to fail and lose the title will bring pain for months. But I'm confident in my team.

"There's a lot of pride in Manchester that our two clubs are the best in England.

"But now we are focused on Fulham because our challenge is to win all our matches and to arrive with an advantage over City on derby day.

"I'm not saying whether that game will decide the title but it's clear the winners will deliver a morale blow to the other club. So I expect a big battle and for us to avenge our 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford."

Valencia has only recently returned to action himself, with a hamstring complaint having forced him back onto the treatment table.

The Ecuador international has not enjoyed the best of luck with injuries in recent times, but he has quickly recaptured his form since returning to the fold and is hoping to take in a productive end to the 2011/12 campaign.

He said: "I'm happy to be back. Initially, I feared my latest injury would affect me but this time the situation wasn't so grave.

"Now I dream about helping the team, making the most of my chances.

"It's not easy getting into the first XI at United. That was why I was angered about my last injury.

"I have been working with the physios to advance my recovery and now the key for me is to avoid more injury problems.

"I've a good sensation about the end of season personally - and for the team. Certain blows have affected my career at important moments but I hope these episodes are over and now I think only about playing and winning."