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Apr 1, 2013

Benitez: Utd strikers the difference

Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez has hailed Manchester United's strikers as the reason the Red Devils are on course to claim the club's 20th league title.

• Blog: Benitez makes priorities clear

Chelsea and United renew hostilities for a place in the FA Cup semi-finals on Monday after their original quarter-final battle ended in a 2-2 draw.

However, in the Premier League, a gapping chasm divides the clubs with Chelsea trailing the league leaders by 22 points.

And an envious Benitez has pin-pointed the difference between the reigning European champions and their FA Cup opponents, believing superior striking power has driven United to the top of the Premier League.

But the 52-year-old Spaniard was quick to note the Blue were not without their own source of goal potential.

"The reason United are top of the table is they have a very strong squad," Benitez said. "Just analyse the four strikers they have and we only have two.

"They have four all at a very good level and we only have two at that level.

"It was a problem when he had just [Fernando] Torres but now we have Demba [Ba] so that is two attacking options. We have offensive players of quality."

Despite United's dominance in the league, Benitez refuses to worry about their challenge for a domestic double, solely focusing on Chelsea's late surge for silverware.

And after a topsy-turvy season where less than impressive results have already seen one manager leave Stamford Bridge, Benitez, who has announced he will not return to the Chelsea hot-seat next season, believes the Blues are in a position the end the season on a high note.

"I'm not worried about what they [United] are doing," Benitez said. "I am just concentrating on what we can do and how we can improve and win games.

"United are top of the table but I thought we were much better than them in the first game.

"We can compete but when you playing two games in three days, for months, it isn't easy so I think we are doing well in the situation we are in.

"Chelsea is a team in transition; it has a new manager and new players for this year. United have had the same manager for years and 80 per cent of the squad are the same."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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