Juan Mata is looking forward to facing former club Chelsea this weekend but has warned his Manchester United team-mates that they will have to play at their ‘best level’ to win the heavyweight Premier League clash.
The Red Devils – currently languishing down in 15th – will be buoyed by their stunning 2-1 victory away at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in midweek, their fifth win in six matches.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have won just one of their last five games in all competitions but sit seven places about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men in eighth.
United midfielder Mata spent three years with Chelsea and was a popular figure among the Stamford Bridge faithful, winning their Player of the Year award in his first two years in west London.
The Spaniard was close with Frank Lampard during their time at the club but the pair’s friendship will be put on hold for 90 minutes at Old Trafford tomorrow evening.
It’s always special for me to play against them. I’ve still got many friends in there,’ Mata told United’s official website.
‘I know Frank, we were team-mates. I know how good he is as a manager and of course how good he was as a player.
‘It will be tough because they’ve got great new players in the squad.
They have a big squad, so a lot of players can play and do well.
‘We need to make sure we are ready for that and that we are ready to play at our best level, like the last two games.
If we play in that way, I’m sure we will be close to winning.‘
We knew we had crucial month in front of us with very difficult games,’ he added.
‘We managed to play well in the first two, so we want to keep the momentum for the next ones we have.
‘[We have] Chelsea, Leipzig, Arsenal coming so we need to make sure we are at our best level and get points.‘