We can end Chelsea run – Ferguson

Venue: Stamford Bridge Date: Sunday, 21 September Kick-off: 1400 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Five Live & highlights on Match of the Day

Sir Alex Ferguson and Luiz Felipe Scolari
Ferguson and Scolari come head-to-head for the first time on Sunday

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes his side possess the firepower to end Chelsea’s unbeaten home run of 84 matches.

The Blues, who went back to the top of the Premier League last weekend, have not lost at Stamford Bridge since 2005.

But despite United’s poor start to the season, Ferguson is in confident mood.

“Chelsea know fine well Manchester United can win on Sunday, with the ability we have it is not a daunting task,” said the Scot.

“We have a big job to do and the players will be up for it.

“We don’t want to come away trailing. We do not want to be nine points behind Chelsea, or anyone else for that matter.”

With Luiz Felipe Scolari at the helm Chelsea have dropped just two points from five matches this season, while United are languishing in 14th place, having only scored three times in the league.

Defeat would leave United nine points adrift of their west London rivals, a deficit which could prove crucial come May next year.

Maybe next season, Cristiano is with me. If he wants to change, I’ll open the door to that
Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari

Ferguson suggested at the start of the season that Chelsea’s ageing squad could struggle to challenge his side for major honours.

But the 66-year-old insisted his comments were not meant to be derogatory.

“I certainly did not say they were an old team,” he said.

“I said they were an experienced team. When players get to their 30s, you do not get a lot of improvement out of them.

“But they have certainly started well enough. They have only dropped two points.”

With last season’s top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo close to full fitness and new signing Dimitar Berbatov recovering from a knee injury, Ferguson is confident his complement of top-class strikers will start finding the back of the net.

Chelsea boss Scolari is aware of the attacking threat of Ronaldo, having given the winger his international debut as Portugal manager in 2003.

Since then, the 23-year-old has developed into one of the world’s finest players and he scored 42 goals for United last season.

“He is one of the three best players in the world,” said Brazilian Scolari.

Phil McNulty blog
Phil McNulty

“He’s improved himself, very well, in the five or six years since [his Portugal debut], more in Manchester than with the national team. He lives in Manchester 11 months of the year. Only one month a year with the national team,” said Scolari.

“Next season, I can see him as a captain with Portugal because people like him and he has the confidence for that.

“He’s a very good man, helps the other players, a good attitude on and off the pitch. He has grown up and matured.

“Now, at this time of life, Ronaldo is mature and is better than one or two years ago.”

While Real Madrid are still intent on luring Ronaldo to Spain, Scolari said he welcome him to Stamford Bridge should be want to move to London – with tongue firmly placed in cheek.

“When I was at Portugal, I had to choose three players every year (for Fifa World Player of the Year). One year I chose Didier Drogba as one of my three,” he said

“Another year, I wrote John Terry. Another year I wrote Frank Lampard.

“Now these three players are with me, and that’s very good for me. Maybe next season, Cristiano is with me. Very good. If he wants to change, I’ll open the door to that.”