Conte hopes Manchester United bench ´fantastic´ Pogba

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The United manager was labelled "Judas" by some members of the Stamford Bridge home support during an FA Cup tie last March, to which he replied: "Judas is still No 1".

Conte warned that Chelsea must be aware of United's unsafe counter-attacks.

I don't think Mourinho bought him, I think [Ed] Woodward bought him. but they can't go on indulging him, or playing him [as] one of the players suffering is Marcus Rashford. The Portuguese limited his input to: "I'm not going to speak about it, it's not the point".

Victory, and a first league double over United for eight years, would see Chelsea move level on points with Mourinho's side, with 10 games of the season remaining.

It was also put to Mourinho that Romelu Lukaku could perhaps be accused of not doing well against the bigger sides due to a poor scoring record versus the top six, but the manager dismissed that opinion as nonsense.

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Former Chelsea boss Mourinho and Conte have not hidden their disdain for each other in a series of clashes in the press and on the touchline since Conte arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2016.

The Italian was later cleared of any wrongdoing on that issue.

"The only moment we felt relieved was at the end of the first half", he said. But I've said this many times. Very good manager, fantastic team and that's what is important for me.

"I'm not interested in this topic. Scott probably looked like a man with dozens and dozens of matches in the Champions League when this is only the second (start)".

If Manchester United don't play this game on the front foot, taking the game to their opponents and showing attacking enterprise, the fans might have to recognise it will never be the case.

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Along with Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal, both clubs are battling for a top-four finish.

"Sometimes we have periods with three, four consecutive away matches but this time we have four matches at home, with Crystal Palace away in between, but four big matches at Old Trafford".

"The run for the Champions League is open and we must pay great attention because in this run there are many great teams and someone has to stay out of the next Champions League". It seems more innocent if you actually read it, but United's history with injuries has been absolutely abysmal since they last won the Champions League.

Chelsea head to the north-west on the back of a morale-boosting European display against LaLiga leaders Barcelona in midweek.

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