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United gearing up for Portuguese challenge

sports Updated: Oct 23, 2012 01:55 IST

Robin van Persie has issued an ominous warning to Braga as the Manchester United forward claimed his partnership with Wayne Rooney is finally beginning to live up to expectations.

Braga have the daunting task of trying to subdue two of Europe's finest frontmen when the Portuguese minnows visit Old Trafford for Tuesday's Champions League Group H clash.

But to make matters worse for Braga, van Persie, who has eight goals in 10 appearances for United, believes his understanding with Rooney has gradually clicked into gear after a slow start following his pre-season move from Arsenal.

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Van Persie's lack of match practice and an injury to Rooney meant the pair have played together only fleetingly in the opening weeks of the season.

They are finally getting some prolonged time on the pitch to work on their relationship and the response has been impressive, as Stoke found out on Saturday when Rooney scored twice and van Persie also netted in a 4-2 win.

The deadly duo were also responsible for three of the four assists against Stoke and Braga's defenders could have been forgiven for cursing their luck as van Persie described the rapid development of United's strikeforce. "We are definitely getting more of an understanding," Van Persie said. "We like to play together and work well together. "It is only the second or third time we have played in this formation but offensively and defensively, we help each other out."

With Danny Welbeck also a growing threat up front and Javier Hernandez, Nani, Shinji Kagawa and Ashley Young also offering their own attacking menace, it is no surprise van Persie expects United to produce a glut of goals as the season continues.

First trip for blues
PARIS: Defending champions Chelsea face Ukrainian opposition - in the form of high-flying Shakhtar Donetsk - for the first time as the third round of Champions League group matches gets underway.

Chelsea maintained their impressive start to the English Premier League on Saturday, a 4-2 victory over Tottenham and former boss Andre Villas-Boas securing a seventh win in eight matches for the west Londoners.

But Roberto di Matteo's side face in-form opposition with Shakhtar having won all 12 league matches this campaign as well as earning a creditable point at Group E rivals Juventus three weeks ago.

John Terry could return from his domestic suspension.