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Prem title contender Man United may need 'some luck' to win UCL - Mata

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Philippe Coutinho are among the surprise UCL inclusions for Manchester United and Liverpool respectively.

Juan Mata insists there is a belief in the Manchester United dressing that they can win the Premier League title this season but the midfielder accepts Jose Mourinho's team may need "some luck" to lift the Champions League.

United have started the season with three wins to sit top of the table with a perfect record.

It will be put to the test against Stoke at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday. But Mata says there is a growing confidence at Old Trafford after their flying start.

He said: "The belief is always there. When you play for such a club you start every competition believing that you can win it.

"Later some things happen and some bad games didn't allow us to win it last year but we need to find that consistency that can make us fight in the last months and be one of those teams that will be up there.

"It's the second year for the manager, he knows everyone better, we know each other better so let's try."

United have not won a league game at Stoke since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and Arsenal have already come away from the Potteries on the end of a 1-0 defeat.

Mata added: "It is always difficult to play at Stoke. We saw in their game against Arsenal. We will try to keep our run of good play and results.

"It is about getting good momentum.

"We are really pleased with our start but it is only a start and we keep our feet on the ground. We have won three games with confidence and good football. But it is just three games and nine points. There is a lot still to play for.

Juan Mata says Manchester United have the belief necessary to win the Prem this season.

"Stoke is going to be tough but we are confident and the team is strong mentally and physically. We are playing good as a team."

United's Champions League campaign also starts next week when Basel visit Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Mata won the competition with Chelsea in 2012.

And even though the Spaniard has been impressed with the arrivals of Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof this summer, he accepts they might need a slice of fortune to make it to Kiev in May.

He said: "I think we have a good squad but in football you never know what is enough and what is not enough. We have got great new players.

"The players that came can add things to the team and they have already been playing very good. We have an ambition to try to win it but obviously the Champions League is the best competition you can play in Europe and it's very difficult to win.

"In those competitions you need to have some luck in some important moments and maybe sometimes you are the better team and you don't win. The main thing for us as a club is to find that consistency that keeps us fighting for the trophy."

Mata was at Soccerex at Manchester Central on Tuesday talking about his pledge to donate one percent of his salary to charity through Common Goal.

Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels has already signed up while 13 other professional footballers, both male and female, have agreed to contribute.

Mata has also revealed some of his United teammates are set to join in.

"I am almost ready to say who," he said. "We have more players coming but it is step by step.

"We are trying to help as many people as we can through football.

"It makes sense because football is a big force for unity and for good in the world.

"I hope we can do something big and bring a lot of players in football on board.

"It has been good at United. We are human beings and we react in different ways but everyone understands what we are trying to do.

"Everyone understands we are in a lucky position, we are privileged and many others are not so lucky.

"We are going to try and reach every footballer out there. I think it will get bigger in the next few weeks and months."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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