Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge on Sunday as his Manchester United side take on Chelsea in an enthralling Premier League clash.
Conte says Mourinho deserves a good reception on Sunday. #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 21, 2016
The 53-year-old enjoyed two title-laden stints with the London club, winning three Premier League crowns, three league cups and an FA Cup during his spell with the Blues.
It will be interesting to see how the ‘Special One’ is received at the game, particularly given the toxic nature of his exit.
Dressing room disharmony and player fallouts were the core reasoning behind owner Roman Abramovich wielding the axe and sacking Mourinho in December last year.
Now, the Portuguese returns with a United side that is fresh off the back of a 4-1 thumping of Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Paul Pogba scored twice in that game and will be looking to win the midfield battle against France international team-mate and former Leicester City man N’Golo Kante.
The current incumbent of the Stamford Bridge hotseat, Antonio Conte, will be without Branislav Ivanovic and Cesc Fabregas for the game, while long-term absentees Marco van Ginkel and Kurt Zouma are still on the sidelines.
— Marcos Alonso (@marcosalonso03) October 21, 2016
The visitors, who drew 0-0 at Liverpool on Monday, will give Chris Smalling and Morgan Schneiderlin late fitness tests after the pair picked up knocks during the week.
Mourinho could also be tempted to start Ashley Young once again, given the 30-year-old’s impressive defensive work-rate against the Reds.
With both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur dropping points on Saturday, both sides will see the game as the perfect chance to capitalise on their rivals’ mistakes and climb the table heading into the busy winter period.
Chelsea Predicted Line-Up (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Terry, Luiz; Moses, Matic, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Costa, Hazard
Manchester United Predicted Line-Up: (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Blind; Herrera, Fellaini; Young, Pogba, Martial; Ibrahimovic