Barclays Premier League; Sunday, 16th April; Old Trafford, Manchester; KO: 4:00 pm BST (8:30 pm IST)
In what will be one of the games of the season, Antonio Conte will take his table-toppers Chelsea to Old Trafford this weekend. The Blues won both the clashes between the two sides this season and Mourinho will be desperate to get the better of the Italian mastermind at the Stamford Bridge. Conte’s side has been superb in the last couple of games and are sure to go for the kill on the night.
United are fresh from a win over Sunderland in the previous round but the trip to Belgium in the mid-week for the Europa League will have taken a lot from the squad and might see them a be a bit lethargic in this tie.
However, Mourinho will not accept anything less than a victory and will also a goal for all three points from this game. Here is the predicted lineup that Conte might field for this tie:
Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, and David Luiz are playing with small injuries and are expected to take their place in the starting XI which will mean that Conte has a clean bill of health, going into this game:
Expected lineup (3-4-3):
Conte should stick with his 3-4-3 system, which might see Thibaut Courtois take up his place in goal. Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta has been solid at the back and he should partner Brazilian defender David Luiz and English veteran centre-back Gary Cahill, to complete the three-man defence for Chelsea. This has been Conte’s first choice backline throughout the season.
French midfield engine N Golo Kante has been in sublime for this campaign and Conte should stick with him in the midfield for Chelsea. While Cesc Fabregas has been productive, Conte might stick to Nemanja Matic to partner Kante, to add some mettle to the midfield for his side for this crunch tie.
Winger Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso have done superbly on the flanks as wing-backs and Conte has little reason to replace them in the first team for the next season.
Diego Costa is the top goal scorer for Chelsea this season and though he has not been at his best in the last couple of games, he is expected to lead the attack for the Blues on the night.
Belgian star Eden Hazard has been tremendous in the last few games for Chelsea and should start on the left-wing while Spanish winger Pedro should edge past Willian, as he has done in the first choice XI for Conte this season.
This is how they would line up: