Louis van Gaal has a win percentage of 62.5% against fellow top six sides, beating the likes of Southampton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham as they search to solidify their status in the Champions League qualification places.
This change has been the real difference from the David Moyes era at Old Trafford, when just 8.3% of games against the top six ended in victory, and van Gaal should receive much praise for making United a fearsome opponent again.
They currently have the best record against their fellow challengers for the top six places in the Premier League table, with 16 points from eight games, and there is a real sense that they have enough about them to defeat Chelsea this weekend.
Whilst they have occasionally floundered in other games against so-called ‘weaker’ opposition - losses to Swansea and Leicester come to mind - the Dutch coach has seemingly instilled a winning mentality at Old Trafford that was destroyed during Moyes’s reign.
The tactical systems used appear fairly similar than in other games, but Rooney has admitted that extra work has been put in prior to big games to guarantee that United are set up in the perfect way to overcome their opposition.
“I think we’ve been very well prepared going into those game,” the United captain told the official website. “We put a lot of work and effort into making sure we’re in the right shape and set up in the right way to play those matches and that’s obviously helped us a lot because we’ve done quite well in them.”