Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. REUTERS

Alan Hansen believes this season's Premier League title race will be decided between Manchester United and Manchester City.

Although Manchester United have received some perhaps unfair criticism this season, the aforementioned Match of the Day pundit, who is well equipped to talk about league championships having won eight during his trophy laden Liverpool career, believes it would be very foolish to write off Sir Alex Ferguson's side given their title winning experience.

Hansen concedes Manchester United's elimination was something of a crisis for a club of their size, particularly when coupled with their humbling defeat to Manchester City, but they have since maintained their pursuit of Roberto Mancini's side and Hansen intimates that is typical of the Red Devils.

Manchester United beat Fulham 5-0 in Wednesday night, while Manchester City successfully saw of Stoke City, and Hansen believes the Red Devils will pose a stern challenge to their cash-rich counterparts.

"Manchester United have had what you might call their mini-crisis when they went out of the Champions League, and while you cannot say they are back yet, they have had a really good run of results in the Premier League since they lost 6-1 at home in the Manchester derby." The former Liverpool captain told the BBC.

"They were impressive at QPR and they could have won by a lot more than two goals. You never write them or Sir Alex Ferguson off because they have gone the distance so many times.

"But it is looking more and more likely that the title will go to one of those two."

Manchester City are currently two points clear of Manchester United and Hansen believes the Christmas period is a crucial one for both clubs.

"It is a really testing time for all clubs over Christmas because the games come so thick and fast. It is never easy for the players and their teams and you don't see teams picking up maximum points from those three or four games too often." The Liverpool icon concluded.

Hansen famously dismissed Manchester United as a title force in 1995, when Sir Alex Ferguson integrated a host of young English players into his starting 11. In the aftermath of their opening day defeat to Aston Villa, when the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt all featured, Hansen uttered his famous phrase "you'll never win anything with kids".

Manchester United of course won the double that season and Ferguson's youthful side went on to dominate English football for the next decade.