Jose Mourinho has confirmed that both Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are doubts ahead the Manchester United’s clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Smalling suffered a muscular injury during United’s 4-1 victory over Fenerbache on Thursday night whilst Mkhitaryan was once again left out of the match day squad altogether.
Speaking to the clubs official website the new United boss admitted that the duo are carrying knocks and that both are unlikely to feature against Chelsea.
Mkhitaryan has endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford whilst Smalling has struggled to repeat the impressive form he shown last term under former head coach Louis Van Gaal. Both may not be first names on the team sheet but they would still have provided Mourinho another useful option to have against his old side.
News of the duo missing out will come as huge blow to Jose Mourinho who is bidding to take all three points on his return to Stamford Bridge as the new United boss.
Chelsea have endured a mixed start to the new campaign under Conte so far but did enjoy a 3-0 victory over Leicester City last time out. The Italian has players at his disposal in Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Willian who can cause real damage to United and Mourinho will undoubtedly have to get his tactics spot on should he wish to keep them at bay.
With space on the pitch expected to be few and far between Mkhitaryan could have been a real ideal player for Mourinho to use. The Armenian’s ability to unlock defences with his pin-point passing combined with his terrific work rate makes him one of the finest midfielders in European football and is one which Mourinho will no doubt miss on Sunday against Chelsea whilst Smalling could have been a perfect candidate to fight off Diego Costa at the back. When on song there are few better forwards in world football than the Spaniard and in Smalling’s absence Dutchman Daley Blind will have to step up and deliver the goods in the heart of United defence should Mourinho wish to leave Stamford Bridge with a result.
In the last eight times both Manchester United and Chelsea have clashed, there has been under 2.5 goals (8/11) in seven of the games. And considering both Jose Mourinho and Conte are knowing for preferring defensive systems, there is certainly money to be made here.
Manchester United have been impressive in the last few games. You can get them to win at 14/5 with bet365.
Chelsea are available to win at 23/20 at Bet365 which is a great deal considering how excellent Manchester United have been against the Red Devils.