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Chelsea's pivotal trip to Goodison

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Van Persie tipped to be key in title race

Ruud van Nistelrooy is backing his Dutch compatriot Robin van Persie to fire Manchester United to Premier League title glory after being impressed by the striker's start to life at Old Trafford.

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Van Persie, 29, signed for United from Arsenal for around £24 million in the summer and has already proved a vital player for his new club, scoring eight times in 13 league appearances.

Van Nistelrooy, who left the Red Devils in 2006, was a prolific goalscorer during his time at United, helping them to lift the Premier League title in 2003.

And the now-retired striker is confident Van Persie can make a similar mark with Sir Alex Ferguson's side. "As he's proving right now, he is making the difference on many occasions," Van Nistelrooy said in the Daily Star.

"If he can keep going like this through the whole season, then I can see United landing another league win. It feels like he's been here for ever. He started scoring, got his first goal quickly and has never stopped ever since so hopefully it will continue.

"It's important for a striker, when he goes to a new club, to start getting his goals in and then you go on from there. That's what happened to Robin. I think he fits in really well at this club.

"He fits into United's playing style. He's everywhere, involved in the play and the finishing as well. He's special. Hopefully he can do even better than me."

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