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Zlatan Ibrahimovic on bench, Ashley Young captain

However, Jose Mourinho won't be making life easy for his old club as United are also in desperate need of points as they battle to finish in the top four this season. This game will be very tough but I didn't prepare anything for this situation.

"This (title) was our target at the start of the season".

In October, he saw United thrashed 4-0 and made a public show of taking Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to task over his touchline exhortations, accusing the Italian of trying to "humiliate" him. Rashford excelled up front, stretching Chelsea's center backs with the kind of movement and pace that Ibrahimovic would not be able to offer. "Chelsea" played six games in a row "for more" five times and scored a B (1.5). "They are named Chelsea, but they could be named Arsenal, or Tottenham, or another one".

That's the difference between the jobs Mourinho and Conte are doing right now.

Shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award, Ibrahimovic said that it was not a major factor in his thinking.

For his part, Conte has sought to play down any suggestion of tension between himself and Mourinho.

Mourinho was goaded with chants of "Judas" during United's FA Cup defeat at Stamford Bridge, but he said he took no special satisfaction from getting one over on his former club. "For sure the road is long and there are other teams who want to win the title and I think for this reason it will be until the end of the season".

Despite Tottenham's best efforts in recent weeks, putting together an impressive run of 14 wins in their last 17 outings, Conte can now nearly touch a fourth domestic title success in four attempts. "It's normal to be at conflict during the game, but only a sporting conflict".

Chelsea were forced into making a late change to their starting lineup, as illness victim Marcos Alonso was replaced in the backline by Kurt Zouma, meaning a switch of positions for the versatile Cesar Azpilicueta.

Wayne Rooney (ankle) and Ashley Young (groin) trained before that match so will be hoping to prove themselves fit but Phil Jones (foot), Chris Smalling (knee) and Juan Mata (groin) are out.

The win extends fifth-placed United's unbeaten league run to 22 games and keeps them in the hunt for a Champions league spot with Mourinho seeing signs of progress from his squad.