Wayne Rooney has warned his team-mates that conceding an early goal against Chelsea will be much harder to overturn than in previous fixtures against the London side, given the new attacking flair of the current Premier League leaders.
Chelsea recruited Oscar and Eden Hazard in the summer for a combined fee of almost £60 million, joining Juan Mata in attack playing just behind Fernando Torres.
Rooney is well aware that the dangerous attacking threat the Blues now pose could cost Manchester United dear. He told The Telegraph: “Mata is a great player and Hazard has settled in really well in his first season so I think those two along with Torres are the three biggest threats.
"Torres is still a threat, of course. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves because he works hard for the team. Sometimes the goals go in for him, other times they don’t, but he’s always trying."
Chelsea are currently undefeated in the League, winning seven of their eight games whilst drawing the other against QPR.
“It’s a great start and it’s clear having won the Champions League last season it has given them a lot more confidence, they have brought a lot of new players in and added more speed to the team,” Rooney added.
And the striker has emphasised the need for United to prevent early goals from going in, especially at Stamford Bridge against an in-form Chelsea team.
“We don’t want to be doing that [conceding early again] and against the best teams it will be difficult to get those goals to win games,” Rooney warned.
“It happened against Braga [in the Champions League in midweek] and we did well to get back into the game and win it, but you can’t afford to be going one or two goals down against Chelsea away – although we did last season. We went 3-0 down before we drew. But we can’t do that again.”
As exclusively revealed by Goal.com, Sir Alex Ferguson is set to start Wayne Rooney in midfield on Sunday to help counter the attacking creativity of Chelsea.
The 27-year-old commented on his deeper role, saying: “I’m happy to play where the manager wants to play me. We have a lot of top strikers and midfielders so if the manager wants to play me in midfield or as a striker I’m happy to do that.”