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Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 11:38 UK

Exits will hit Man Utd - Anelka

John O'Shea of Man Utd with Nicolas Anelka
Anelka feels Chelsea can give United a real test this season

Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka feels Manchester United face a tough defence of their Premier League title without Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.

United were last stopped from winning the title by Chelsea in 2006 but have lost Ronaldo to Real Madrid and Tevez to Manchester City.

Anelka said of the champions: "I don't think they'll be as strong this season.

"Ronaldo and Tevez have gone and maybe it will give us more of a chance to win the title and be stronger than United."

Ronaldo switched to Real for £80m, while Tevez made the short trip to Manchester City after his loan period at Old Trafford expired.

United, meanwhile, have signed Michael Owen, Gabriel Obertan and Antonio Valencia.

Anelka added: "United are still a strong team and Sir Alex Ferguson is a good manager who knows what to do. We have a strong squad this year and everyone is together, so we'll have a better chance.

"It will be a tough title race. All the teams at the top are very strong and even Manchester City have some good players.

"Because United have lost two big names, it gives everyone else - including ourselves - a big chance to win it. We will fight until the end and see."


Chelsea finished third last season, on 83 points, behind United on 90 and Liverpool on 86.

Meanwhile, United striker Wayne Rooney - who could have something to say about Chelsea's ambitions - is aiming to top the 20-goal mark he achieved last season.

The England star stated: "I have always said I would like to score more goals than the previous season so that is what I am aiming for again this time.

"I am pretty relaxed about things. There are a lot of great players in our team and we know if we all work together then we are capable of achieving great things."

With the Far East leg of their pre-season campaign over, United now meet more meaningful opposition in the Audi Cup in Germany.

Nemanja Vidic and Valencia will both join the squad but the trip has come too soon for Owen Hargreaves, who is continuing his recovery from operations on both knees.

Boca Juniors lie in wait on Wednesday, with either Bayern Munich or AC Milan the opponents 24 hours later.

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see also
Man City a small club - Ferguson
26 Jul 09 |  Man Utd
Terry pledges future to Chelsea
26 Jul 09 |  Chelsea
Tevez completes move to Man City
14 Jul 09 |  Man City
Ronaldo completes 80m Real move
01 Jul 09 |  Man Utd

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