Date: 23rd November 2006 at 1:19pm
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Cristiano Ronaldo is apparently confident that United would be able to beat Chelsea on Sunday. The Portuguese winger thinks Chelsea now need to work harder to win games as they are the team to beat for most of their opponents – and United could use that as an advantage.

Three points separate the two team on the Premiership table so the situation is entirely different from what it was a year ago when Chelsea were runaway leaders and United were trailing them 13 points behind. Ronaldo considers the improvement to be a good sign but he does not think much of the two clubs’ recent rivalry.

‘This weekend’s game with Chelsea is very vital,’ Ronaldo told Zoo Magazine. ‘We’re neck-and-neck with Chelsea and that’s a good sign because we can’t allow them to go too far ahead like last year. We’re in a better position to win the league this time.

‘Rivalry between us and Chelsea exists and I’ve experienced it in each match we’ve played. But there isn’t the same passion as the Manchester derby or games against Arsenal or Liverpool.

‘Perhaps it’s because now they are doing well, whereas before it had always been United at the top.

‘I think Chelsea are about the same as they were last year,’ added the Portuguese international. ‘The transfers of Shevchenko and Ballack haven’t changed them too much in terms of their superiority to everybody else.