Conte’s Chelsea Versus Mourinho’s Man United: The Grudge Match!

This Sunday, Jose Mourinho returns to face Chelsea with his Manchester United side.

The former Blues boss will tell you that it’s just another game:

“They want to win like they did last season, and it’s just one more day.”

The Portuguese manager will say he wants to win, as always, to keep the heat on Premier League leaders Manchester City but make no mistake their will be some added spice to this fixture.

United were always the team that went out to halt Chelsea’s progress after Roman Abramovich bought the London club in 2003 and made them successful.

Now Man Utd have the manager, in Jose Mourinho, who brought much of that success.

Last season, Chelsea thumped their rivals 4-0 at Stamford Bridge. The game was all bit fraught for Jose. He watched on as his former side scored in just thirty seconds. Eden Hazard put in a match winning performance and Mourinho had a heated exchange after the game with his Blues counterpart Antonio Conte.

The big surprise came with the home ground jeering their former hero with a “you’re not special anymore” chant!

All in all, Jose was humiliated and that’s not a feeling he’s been used to on these shores.

He also clearly took exception to certain things Conte did, namely the way the Italian celebrated in Jose’s woes.

They two English giants would then meet again in the FA Cup and it was again at the Bridge. Conte masterminded another victory but only by a slender one goal margin.

That was mainly due to Mourinho’s stubborn, somewhat rough tactics. It seemed as though that the United boss decided to target Chelsea star-man Hazard, with Ander Herrera being the man tasked with keeping the Belgian maestro out of the game. The Spanish midfielder was often a bit over zealous in his tacking and he kicked Eden one too many times and received his marching orders after just thirty-five minutes. Chelsea held their nerve and N’Golo Kante found the winner in the second half.

The roughhouse tactics employed by Jose’s men didn’t go unnoticed with Chelsea players, media pundits and supporters all coming out to criticised Mourinho.

As we know Jose Mourinho isn’t really one who cares what his critics say, nor is he a man who struggles with revenge plots.

A month after Man United’s elimination in the FA Cup, they served up a 2-0 triumph over Conte’s Chelsea at Old Trafford. It was only the Blues third league defeat since the turn of the year and they didn’t lose another in their charge to the Premier League title in May.

Jose Mourinho will like nothing more than to put Conte in his place and show the Chelsea faithful just why he’s the most successful manager in their history.

For Conte, it’s been a different season for him in England’s top flight. His side are already trailing behind Man City, Man Utd and Tottenham Hotspur.

They have struggled with the extra games and pressure that the Champions League has provided them this year.

Antonio has also watched on as injury was ravaged his squad. The forty-eight year old took exception when he felt Jose was having a dig at him regarding the injury crisis at Stamford Bridge:

“A lot of time Mourinho has to see what happens at Chelsea,”

“A lot of time, also last season, I think he has to think about his team and stop, to look at himself, not the others.”

During his latest press conference the former Juventus and Italy gaffer showed us that there’s still no loved loss between himself and this Sunday’s opponent:

“I have respect for his job, he must have respect for mine. Then I stop.”

You get the feeling that Jose is trying to play mind games with his opposite number and at times it looks as though it’s working, with Conte getting agitated.

I also think that Antonio is a bit peeved that he doesn’t get the respect he deserves for the job he did in England last term. Everyone was talking about Jose and Pep Guardiola last year, yet it was Conte and Chelsea who were deservedly crowned league champions.

Jose will like nothing more than giving Conte a bloody nose and heaping more pressure on the Italian this weekend.

While in the opposite dugout, Antonio Conte will want to get his side back on track and shut Mourinho up yet again.

It will probably be a tight and fiery encounter but the winner certainly won’t care how it was won as long as the loser suffers!

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