David Moyes has assigned Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie a season target of 40 goals between them as the Red Devils search for their 21st English championship, reports The Daily Star.

The former Everton manager believes a 20-goal season each from Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie will be a vital step towards securing the club’s first Premier League title without the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I think the two of them can easily be 20-goal-a-season forward players and if we get that, it will go a long way to deciding where we finish,” said Moyes.

Van Persie was in white-hot form throughout his debut season in a Manchester United shirt and was awarded the Premier League Golden Boot last term for his spectacular 26-goal haul.

The Premier League champions must avoid overloading the Dutchman with goal-scoring pressure again this season, but Moyes trusts the other members of his lethal attacking unit can shoulder the burden alongside their star striker this season.

“We were just getting Wayne (Rooney) fit again when he gashed his head in training and had to miss the Liverpool game,” reflected the United boss.

“But he’s come back to work with Robin and teams we play against must think, ‘My goodness, this is tough to play against’.

“I don’t want to exclude Chicharito Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, because they will be used at times. But if you come up against an in-form Robin van Persie and an in-form Wayne Rooney in the Premier League, you’ve got a concern.”

Moyes’ side head into today’s clash with Manchester City level on goal difference but one spot below their seventh-place crosstown rivals. The last meeting ended 3-2 in United’s favour, but that result counts for little, as both Moyes and City boss Manuel Pellegrini will both experience their first Manchester derby this afternoon.

When asked how he predicts the match atmosphere will compare to his previous derby encounters, the Manchester United manager suggested he would not be marching into uncomfortable territory.

“I don’t know about Everton-Liverpool being as friendly as some say but derbies are the same anywhere you want to mention – like Milan or in Spain. They have an intensity,” explained Moyes.

Both teams will be looking to maintain their good form after strong performances in the UEFA Champions League midweek. City kicked off their European campaign with a convincing 3-0 victory away to Czech Republic outfit Viktoria Plzen, while the English champions mustered a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen thanks to a Wayne Rooney brace.

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