Laudrup: United are title favourites now

Laudrup endorses Man Utd favourite status. Photo: PA

Manchester United are Michael Laudrup's favourites to win the Premier League title, but the Dane believes there are defensive weaknesses Swansea can exploit when the sides meet at the Liberty Stadium.

United are six points clear at the top of the table and will be expected to collect another three points in south Wales tomorrow, even though Swansea have been in the habit of taking points off the top flight's big guns.

Since their promotion to the Premier League the Swans have beaten Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal twice, as well as securing draws against Chelsea and Tottenham.

But Laudrup knows getting a result against United will require another step up in performance, and he is backing them to regain the title following their derby win over reigning Premier League champions City.

"If you look at the table right now - and they beat Manchester City away - I think with the points they have now they are favourites," he said.

"It's the same for them as everyone else, the next six weeks will be vital with a lot of games and it will depend a lot on how the standings are when they go back into the Champions League in mid-February.

"But right now for me they are the favourites."

Despite topping the table, United's defensive record is not as impressive as Sir Alex Ferguson would like.

United have conceded 24 league goals so far this term - compared to 14 at this stage last season - and have kept just four clean sheets in all competitions.

While the return from injury of Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic has bolstered Ferguson's defensive options, Laudrup believes there may be a vulnerability there.

He said: "You have to defend well yourselves but you also have to have the confidence to play when you have the ball.

"They have conceded a lot of goals, less recently, but they have conceded two here, two there. They let in three at Reading and they have even been conceding at home.

"We know they have a lot of quality but they have conceded a lot of goals."

The Red Devils triumphed 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium last season thanks to an early Javier Hernandez strike on an occasion where Swansea's players felt they had been in awe of their opponents.

But Laudrup has vowed there will be no repeat this time around.

"You have to remember last season was the first year in the Premier League after coming up from the Championship and suddenly you are playing against players you have only seen on TV.

"It is the same in Spain, players come up into the top flight and suddenly they play Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"It's okay to have that for five minutes but if it is for the whole 90 minutes you have lost the game before playing.

"I assure you that will not happen. We have done well against Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City so why can't we do it against United?"