Chelsea midfielder Oscar believes his side can strike a decisive early blow in the title race if they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday night.
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Jose Mourinho’s Blues will open up a six-point lead on one of their rivals for Premier League glory if they beat the reigning champions, with the Brazil midfielder suggesting that could be a vital turning point early in the season.
“If we win we can open up a gap of six points to Manchester United already, in addition to the fact they’re the champions and the importance a victory against them has,” Oscar told the club's official website.
“We know it will be difficult but nevertheless we know we can win at Old Trafford. We did it last year and we’ll hope to accomplish the same this year. It’s obviously a very important match, and the first of two in succession with Manchester United and Bayern Munich, which are clearly big for us.
“We are hopeful we can play well, it’s true it’s only the start of the championship but we can’t be complacent, this is such an important game and we’re sure if we put everything into practice all we are planning in training we can get the three points which will be great for us.
“They are one of the best teams we will play against, one of our greatest rivals and undoubtedly come the end of the season they will be fighting for titles. For this reason we know we need to play well. It will be difficult for us but at the same time it will be difficult for them.”
Oscar admitted his pre-season preparations have been disrupted by his involvement in the Confederations Cup with Brazil in June, but he believes he is rapidly closing in on full fitness.
“I had quite a short pre-season and because of that perhaps I ended the first game against Hull feeling quite tired, but afterwards Aston Villa was a difficult game and I ended that feeling good, so as every game passes the situation seems to get easier and my physical condition improves,” he added.