Mata looking forward to ‘special’ meeting with Chelsea

Juan Mata has warned his Manchester United team-mates they will have to be at their best when they face his former club at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Mata was a fans’ favourite at Chelsea during his three years at Stamford Bridge, and remains on friendly terms with several connections there.

The 32-year-old knows Frank Lampard well, but he will put aside any friendship when he lines up against his former team-mate’s side.

“It’s always special for me to play against them. I’ve still got many friends in there,” said Mata, who was twice named player of the year by Blues supporters.

“I know Frank, we were team-mates. I know how good he is as a manager and, of course, how good he was as a player.

“It will be tough because they’ve got great new players in the squad. They have a big squad, so a lot of players can play and do well.

“We need to make sure we are ready for that and that we are ready to play at our best level, like the last two games. If we play in that way, I’m sure we will be close to winning.”

Meanwhile, keeper Kepa Arrizablaga will not be in Chelsea’s squad for the trip to Manchester.