Stoke are desperate for points, having dropped to within three points of the relegation zone, and they are looking for their first Premier League win since early February.
United can restore their 15-point lead with Manchester City on FA Cup duty at Wembley, but Ferguson is taking absolutely nothing for granted and will definitely not be taking their weekend rivals lightly.
"It's still a difficult place to go to," said Ferguson. "Ask any manager and player, you know you have to perform to get a result there.
"It's one of those grounds where they have a great support and the atmosphere is always guaranteed so we have a job to do.
"The incentives are there for ourselves in the sense of we've only seven games left.
"The challenge at the start of the season was to win the league back and at this moment in time our consistency has been brilliant. There is absolutely no other way you can look at it."