The wait for the new Premier League season is almost over, with Liverpool FC taking on Norwich City in the curtain raiser at Anfield on Friday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will begin their campaign with a testing home clash against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea FC side at Old Trafford this weekend as they look to get their season started on the right foot.
Chelsea FC are now gearing up for their first competitive game under Lampard after the 41-year-old was brought in as Maurizio Sarri’s successor back in July.
And Mata, who used to play for Chelsea FC, is relishing the test of coming up against the west London club in front of Manchester United’s home fans this weekend.
Speaking in an interview with MUTV, Mata said: “It would be the perfect way to start, to have a good pre-season, with everybody ready and without injuries, and then win the first game of the season against Chelsea at home.
“If we can win that game then it’d be the perfect start and the fans can feel the excitement of a new season.”
Mata continued: “I am happy for Frank. He did a great job last season with Derby [County]. Obviously, Chelsea is his home, I think he deserves it, and I am happy that he is managing a big club.
“I am sure he is ready for it. He is a good friend and I wish him the best, but not in the opening game.
“It will be a difficult challenge in the first game of the season, playing against Chelsea, who have a new project, a new manager, some changes in the squad, so it will be nice to start like that.
“I remember we have had some difficult opponents in other seasons, when we played Tottenham and other big clubs, so at the end of the day you have to play against everyone.”
Manchester United are focused on trying to break back into the top four this season after they finished sixth and without a trophy last term.
Chelsea FC, meanwhile, are aiming to maintain their place in the top four after they ended up third and won the Europa League in Sarri’s one and only season in charge.
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