Nemanja Vidic is hoping a relaxed Manchester United signals bad news for Chelsea at Old Trafford.
United’s status as Premier League champions has been confirmed for nearly a fortnight now.
Yet, such was the overwhelming nature of their 20th title it will be another week before they get to collect the trophy and 24 hours after that until they get the chance to parade their hard-won silverware around the city.
Sir Alex Ferguson, who is to have a hip operation that could see him miss the start of next season, has already felt moved to warn his players their planned visit to Chester Races on Wednesday will be scrapped should their performance not come up to scratch.
But Vidic, who has recovered from a calf strain, does not believe there will be a problem.
In fact, in front of their home fans, the Serbian feels United may be even more dangerous.
“Motivation won’t be a problem for us,” he said. “We are motivated every time we step out at Old Trafford.
“When we go into the games we have a mentality to win which is not going to change against Chelsea or anyone else.
“The only difference is we are relaxed. We are not chasing points for the trophy. That means we can play without pressure and actually enjoy the game.
“We want to finish in a good style.”
It has been a matter of some bewilderment at Old Trafford that a championship achieved in such commanding fashion has been accompanied by so much doubt over the ability within Ferguson’s present squad.
After all, Vidic has now won five titles in seven full seasons as a United player, and missed out on the other two by a point in 2010 and goal difference last season.
“You cannot make people think differently,” he said. “They have to believe what they believe.
“I don’t think you can judge how good this team was until this generation leaves and another one comes in. I don’t have a problem with that.
“I just want to win as many trophies as I can. I am lucky I came to the club at the right time. I am playing with good players and there is a good mentality.
“That is why we have won five titles in the seven years I have been here. That is a good statistic. Hopefully it won’t be the last one.”
Ferguson expects to have Paul Scholes back in his squad for the first time since January.
Scholes has been missing with a knee injury and is widely expected to announce his retirement at the end of the season, so Ferguson seems to be preparing him for a farewell appearance. But Danny Welbeck (knee) is out.
Rafael Benitez is confident his side are capable of victory in any match as Chelsea bid to beat United to improve their prospects of a return to the Champions League.
Last season’s Champions League winners are in an all-London fight for third and fourth place, with one of Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham poised to miss out on a place among Europe’s elite next season.
Following an unbeaten run of four wins in the last five, which has included Chelsea advancing to the Europa League final, Benitez is upbeat about securing a place in the top four of the Premier League and believes his team can win at Old Trafford.
“As soon as you can win some games in a row you have momentum and confidence and it is easier,” Benitez said on chelseafc.com.
“We are not doing too many things in a different way but we are more convinced that we can beat anyone.
“We are creating chances and we are controlling the games. Overall it is a good period, the team has more confidence and that is the key.”
The consequences of finishing fifth are unthinkable for the Blues and Benitez believes his side will qualify for the Champions League with wins over United and Spurs.
“Every single game will be important for us,” added Benitez, whose side play Benfica in the Europa League final in Amsterdam on May 15.
“To get three points in every single game will be massive. We’re so close.
“We know if we can get these three points [against United] and against Tottenham, we’ll be in the top four.”
Ashley Cole is back from his European suspension and Eden Hazard came off as a precaution in Thursday night’s Europa League semi-final defeat of Basel and could drop to the bench as Benitez faces a selection balancing act once again, with Wednesday’s crucial clash with Tottenham also a consideration.
Only Oriol Romeu (knee) is a definite absentee, with striker Demba Ba available again after being cup-tied against the Swiss champions.