Mourinho Returns to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea Host United


Jose Mourinho will make his first return to Stamford Bridge since being sacked by his former employers in December as the Manchester United lock horns with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge today.

The Portuguese manager had two successful spells as Blues boss, but was dismissed by the club ten months ago before moving to Old Trafford in the summer.

United will play their third game in less than a week, with a goalless draw with Liverpool on Monday before registering a 4-1 victory over Fernabache in the Europa League on Thursday.

Chelsea have won their last two Premier League games while keeping clean sheets, including a 3-0 victory over current champions Leicester last Saturday.

The Blues also have a good recent record against their opponents having not lost any of their last seven league games against United (W3 D4).

Chris Smalling will be assessed ahead of today’s game after coming off at half-time on Thursday due to what United have described as a minor muscular injury.

Mourinho also said on Thursday that playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was absent from the matchday squad for an eighth straight game, will be “ready very soon to play” having recovered from a thigh injury.

Chelsea will make a late decision over whether to field Willian following the death of his mother while Oscar has also been away following a family bereavement, but John Terry is avaliable after another full week of training following an ankle injury. However Cesc Fabregas (thigh) and defender Branislav Ivanovic, who has a minor injury to an undisclosed muscle, are out. Elsewhere, Kurt Zouma is set to return to first-team training next week following his long-term knee injury.

Manchester United have lost more Premier League fixtures against Chelsea than any other side (16). Of those 16 Chelsea wins against Manchester United, five were recorded by Jose Mourinho, more than any other boss for the Blues.

Jose Mourinho lost just one league game at Stamford Bridge between 2004/05 and 2014/15 (W76 D21). He then lost four of his final eight games there in 2015/16 (W3 D1).

The only time in his career Mourinho has managed an opposition side at Stamford Bridge was with Inter Milan in March 2010, knocking out Chelsea in the Champions League.

David Luiz has twice scored against Manchester United in the Premier League but his only own goal is against the Red Devils.

Wayne Rooney has gone six Premier League games without scoring against Chelsea, this after converting two penalties against them in February 2012. Manchester United have won just one of their last eight Premier League trips to London (W1 D3 L4).

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored against Chelsea in both of his appearances against them last season in the Champions League.

After scoring with four of his first 15 shots in the Premier League, Ibrahimovic has failed to find the net with any of his last 26 in the competition.

Diego Costa has scored seven times in his opening eight league games this season. Only two Chelsea players have scored more goals in their first eight matches of a campaign – Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 2001/02 (8) and Diego Costa himself in 2014/15 (9).

This season, Jose Mourinho has registered his lowest points total (14) after his first eight league games with a new club since his stint with Uniao de Leiria (10 points).

Since his debut in August 2012, Eden Hazard has scored more Premier League goals than any other midfielder in the competition (44).