José Mourinho tips Eden Hazard to fire Chelsea to Premier League title
Way to boost your players' already non-existent confidence, José
José Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge today, as Manchester United take on Chelsea in what feels like yet another final test for the manager. Lose, and all 'progress' from the comeback against Newcastle is undone. Win, and he earns himself a few more weeks before Ed Woodward considers pulling the trigger.
So, how would be best for Mourinho psyche up his players before the big clash? Admit that you'd love to have the opposition's best player (Eden Hazard) at United, of course.
"I would love to have him in Manchester United but I don't think Chelsea will be selling to Manchester United so it's not a problem," said Mourinho during his pre-match press conference.
Admittedly, most teams would love to have Eden Hazard, he is one of the best players in the world. But the timing of the comment, in the context of United's left-wingers struggling for form and confidence, seems odd.
Everything is calculated with Mourinho, he will be looking for his players to show him why United don't need Hazard, but he maybe should have learnt by now that Anthony Martial in particular does not respond so well to the stick, much preferring the carrot.
The Portuguese went on to suggest that Chelsea are current favourites to win the Premier League, due to Hazard's current form.
"History says that when Eden Hazard is the best player in the Premier League, Chelsea is the champion. It happened with me, it happened with Antonio [Conte]," Mourinho said.
"And this season, it's still in the beginning of course, but if he is the best player in the Premier League until now, which I think he is, Chelsea is top of the league now because he is the kind of player that can make a huge difference."
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 19, 2018
If United win at Stamford Bridge in today's early kick-off, it will be the first time they have won away to Chelsea since 2012, when Juan Mata still played for the Blues and United's goals were scored by Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez.