Tevez scoring winner in Manchester derby is my worst nightmare, says Valencia
10:10 GMT, 26 March 2012
Antonio Valencia has revealed his fear that Carlos Tevez could be the man to wreck United's title dreams in the Manchester derby.
City and United are locked in a battle for the Barclays Premier League crown which could be decided when the two teams face each other on April 30.
And Valencia fears Tevez – who has only just returned to the City squad after five months in the wilderness – could score the goal to decide the match and title at the Etihad Stadium.
Red alert: Valencia is wary of the threat posed by Tevez in the title run-in
He told 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, 26, is has been in excellent for United this term after putting recent injuries woes behind him.
Back in the fold: The Argentina international has returned for City
The Ecuador international suffered a horror leg break last season and, more recently, a hamstring problem. But he is determined to put that to one side as the season reaches its climax.
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.'
Fit and flying: Valencia has shrugged off recent injuries and is bang in form