26-year-old to win battle v national teammate: Three things to expect from Chelsea in clash v Man United
By Will Butcher
Chelsea travel north to face bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon in a match that could prove crucial at the top of the Premier League.
Here, Football Insider analyses three things to expect from Antonio Conte’s side as the Blues look to secure victory against former manager Jose Mourinho.
26-year-old to destroy Pogba
Having trained with him for France’s national side, the in-form N’Golo Kante will mark an under-fire Paul Pogba in the middle of the park on Sunday. 26-year-old star Kante will be in buoyant mood after being nominated for the PFA Premier League player of the year award, and he is likely to continue that form against Pogba, as he will be clued up on the world’s most expensive player from their training sessions together under France boss Didier Deschamps. Kante has proved an integral member of the Blues this season and keeping Pogba quiet will be crucial to three points on Sunday.
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It has all the ingredients to get feisty on the touchline. Conte’s incessant desire to scream and wave from the sidelines is likely to infuriate any manager, most of all former Chelsea boss Mourinho. The Portuguese boss’ lack of patience could see the two managers come to blows during the heavyweight encounter, with pressure on both managers to earn three points. Mourinho’s success with Chelsea is now under threat from being improved upon by Conte, while the Italian will be desperate to secure a win with Spurs threatening. It makes for an extremely good watch for the neutral.
Diego Costa to thrive
With 17 goals in 29 Premier League appearances, Chelsea will be relying on Costa to find the back of the net against United. However, the Spain international will be keen to take advantage on United’s injury crisis at the back, which sees Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia and David de Gea all out injured. The latter duo, who remain doubts, for the clash could return but Costa will be licking his lips at the prospect of taking on a patched-up defence.
In other Chelsea news, this is the expected Blues side to face United come Sunday.