Jose Mourinho takes on former club Chelsea for the third time this season on Sunday – and is still searching for his first win.
Manchester United were humiliated in the reverse fixture earlier this term as the Premier League leaders romped to a 4-0 win.
Chelsea then knocked the Red Devils out of the FA Cup as the Stamford Bridge support showed just what they think of the manager they once adored.
Jose Mourinho speaks after Anderlecht 1-1 Manchester United
The Blues are romping towards the Premier League title but United are still in the mix for the top four – although anything but a win will probably end their hopes.
So how can Mourinho and United see off his former employers at Old Trafford?
Get the ball forward – and quickly
United have dominated possession in 90 percent of their matches this season – but that hasn’t been reflected in their results.
Anderlecht was a prime example as the Red Devils appeared in complete control without having too many chances to kill the game off.
Why keep the ball when you are going nowhere with it?
As we saw in their recent defeat to Palace, Chelsea are susceptible when teams get the ball forward quickly.
Sam Allardyce’s men played to their strengths at Stamford Bridge, finding target man Christian Benteke with every opportunity.
That allowed the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend to get around the Belgian hitman and cause problems to Chelsea’s three-man defence.
No United fan would be happy with their side going route one but playing off Zlatan Ibrahimovic could have a positive effect against the league leaders.
Go with three at the back
United matched Chelsea’s system in the FA Cup defeat at Stamford Bridge but were forced to make a change after just half an hour.
Ander Herrera’s early dismissal saw United revert to their usual formation before Chelsea took control.
Will Mourinho try it again at Old Trafford?
It appears a defensive system for a must-win home clash but it could be just what United need for this one.
Mourinho’s problem is that he doesn’t have many fit central defenders with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both out.
Daley Blind could come in while Michael Carrick is another option to play in a back three.
In Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw, United have two ready made full-backs who would ask questions of opposite numbers Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso.
We’ve already seen this season how Chelsea can be stifled when teams go like for like after Tottenham saw them off at White Hart Lane.
Then again, Everton also tried it – and we know how that panned out.
Keep his cool
Easier said than done for the Portuguese but if United are to get a positive result on Sunday, they need their manager to stay calm.
He lost it with Antonio Conte after overzealous celebrations on the touchline in October before the two almost came to blows again last month.
With two fiery characters like Mourinho and Conte, a bust-up is almost expected but there are signs that the Chelsea chief has got under his predecessors skin.
The United boss has clearly struggled seeing his former club shoot to the top of the Premier League under a new manager.
For Mourinho, it must be like seeing a former flame – who you have some great memories with – now enjoying the same experiences with someone else.
Chelsea had success under Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo but there was always a sense they were fawning for a return of the Special One.
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Now, for the first time, Chelsea fans have moved on and in the two previous encounters, that looks to have rattled Mourinho.
He reacted to jibes in the FA Cup defeat by reminding supporters of his record in west London but that distracted from what really mattered on the pitch.
United can’t afford a repeat on Sunday.
Ride their luck
Mourinho has been reminding us all season – but luck hasn’t been on United’s side this term.
Controversial decisions are meant to even themselves out over the course of the campaign but United have been on the receiving end of some shockers.
Penalty calls, disallowed goals, refereeing decisions, stunning goalkeeper displays, they’ve all gone against the Red Devils.
Fans of other clubs would say it’s about time given the apparent favouritism during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign but you can see why Mourinho feels harshly done by.
Over the course of the campaign, United have also hit the woodwork 18 times (only Spurs have been denied more).
Surely it’s their turn to be the beneficiaries on the big occasion.