Nemanja Vidic believes the next three matches will shape Manchester United's season, as they prepare to make the short trip to Wigan.
United's lead at the top of the Premier League was cut to a point after Arsenal beat Stoke 1-0 on Wednesday night. Sir Alex Ferguson's side were in action in the Champions League, drawing 0-0 at Marsille.
But with Arsenal not in league action at the weekend, as they face Birmingham in the League Cup final on Sunday, United could use their game in hand to restore their advantage over Arsene Wenger's men to four points.
United won the league at the DW Stadium in 2006 and enjoy a dominant record against Roberto Martinez's side. They have won all 12 of their meetings, with Wigan managing just one goal in their last seven matches. After their game at Wigan, United face Chelsea on Tuesday night before travelling to Liverpool on Sunday.
Serbian defender Vidic admits that United are entering a time where every match is vital.
"I don't want to think about Marseille right now. We have other important games to play first and the next is Wigan. We have to take three points and I believe we can," Vidic said.
"We have a few away games to come now. That is what we have to focus on now. We are just taking it game by game. If we play well in the next three games and pick up points then we will go into the next game against Marseille with confidence. Now we start the build-up to the next game."
Ryan Giggs could return from a minor injury in time to feature at Wigan but Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans are more likely to be back in contention for Tuesday's testing encounter with Chelsea. Anderson will miss another two or three weeks with a knee injury and Antonio Valencia and Park Ji-Sung are still injured.
With the title race coming to the boil, Portuguese winger Nani believes that United, who have lost just once in the Premier League all season, can not afford any more slips.
"We have some massive games coming up and the next few weeks are going to be very important for us," he said.
"We're focused on winning every game because we know the results in the next few matches could prove decisive."
Wigan have re-laid their pitch in time for the visit of the Premier League leaders. While many sides struggling in the relegation zone would want as boggy a surface as possible for such a game, Martinez, who has no new injury concerns, believes it will help his team.
"It is in very good condition. The work the ground staff have done is sensational," he said.
"In a football club like ours everyone plays a little part towards the result and I hope everyone can get the rewards on Saturday evening. I think it is a great sign and I think it is good news for football. You don't want to go into a game where the players cannot express themselves and cannot play the game they want to play or we want to play. I'm extremely proud of that. From now until the end of the season every point is going to be valuable and it is important we do everything we can to help our players."