Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is already looking ahead to this month's "significant" fixtures against Arsenal and Chelsea.
While Ferguson's more immediate concern is whether their Barclays Premier League encounter with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road beats the weather, pre-Christmas fixtures against United's main rivals have taken on greater onus with his side now two points clear at the summit.
The Gunners visit Old Trafford on December 13, with the trip to Stamford Bridge following six days later. With Arsenal and Chelsea meeting themselves on December 27, Ferguson accepts it is going to be a crucial period.
"You always want to win those games because they are really significant," Ferguson told Inside United.
"We have managed to claw ourselves into a position where we are two points ahead of Chelsea, so the game at Stamford Bridge and Arsenal's trip to Manchester will certainly be very important, there's no doubt about that.
"We saw that last season - some big decisions didn't go our way in the two matches against Chelsea and they ended up costing us important points."