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JOSE Mourinho took caution against Sevilla but when his former club arrives at Stamford Bridge three points adrift of Manchester United this weekend, can he afford to do so again at Old Trafford?

Symbols of style or substance mean little to the United boss, so long as it accompanies success but at home in a veritable six pointer, is a classic Mourinho shut down going to work?

While the Portuguese is reportedly willing to smoke the peace pipe and shake hands with his bitter adversary Antonio Conte before the game, there is more than pride on the line not just in the race for second place, but in the top four bottleneck, with Tottenham breathing down their necks as well. Indeed, an Old Trafford stalemate, plus favourable results for Liverpool and Spurs against West Ham and Palace, could see the latter leapfrog both these combatants on the weekend.

Mourinho’s hand might just be forced – by his successor.

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Chelsea have started to turn things around after their poor start to 2018, and showed they can still buy into Conte’s methods via their backs-to-the-wall draw with Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.

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