LONDON (SE) - Sir Alex Ferguson will take charge of Manchester United for the 1,500th and final time Sunday when his Premier League champions take on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
Ferguson marked his retirement with a final home win and a Premier League trophy parade last weekend, and the most successful manager in British football history is enjoying finally being able to relax after 26 years at the helm.
"So my last game, 1,500 matches - quite incredible," said Ferguson in his pre-match press conference. "I want to win this one more than last week's even.
"Sunday was amazing and the parade on Monday, it was incredible, even better than 1999. I thought the scenes after the treble in 1999 couldn't be beaten but I think Monday probably did. I went home that night and got ten hours sleep, for the first time in my life. It was marvellous, really good."
Despite winning just three of their last seven, United (28-4-5) will finish 10 points clear atop the Premier League if they match Manchester City's result on Sunday. The title made it 13 for Ferguson in his time at the club, averaging out at a Premier League crown every other season.
Sunday's hosts have had an impressive season and will be looking to hold on to eighth place on the final matchday. Baggies manager Steve Clarke is aware of the significance of Sunday's game, but won't allow West Brom (14-6-17) to roll over for the champions - particularly following last weekend's disappointing 4-0 defeat to Norwich City.
"We're not there for a party on Sunday," said Clarke. "Our party will be with our supporters at the end of the game when the players get the chance to thank the fans and the fans get the chance to thank the players for the season.
"We'll do what we can to finish on a high. We started the season on a high by beating Liverpool, and we want to finish on a high against the champions."
Since reaching the usual safety mark of 40 points, West Brom have won just two of nine. They go into this game on the back of three straight defeats, but are guaranteed their highest Premier League points tally.
Only Tottenham (37) have scored more goals away from home than Manchester United (36), while only Arsenal (14) have conceded fewer than United's 19 on the road.
Of the 23 outfield players that have started for United this season, only three have failed to score - Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. If West Brom are not awarded a penalty, then United will become the first team in Premier League history to have gone a whole season without giving away a spot-kick.
United won 2-0 when these teams met at Old Trafford in December, with Robin van Persie sealing the win with a stoppage-time goal after Gareth McAuley's own goal had given the champions an early lead. Sir Alex's side haven't lost any of their last 17 league meetings with West Brom - winning 15 and drawing two.