Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Mourinho faces big decision

Published:Friday | September 18, 2015 | 9:00 AM
Mourinho

LONDON (AP):

After a 4-0 victory against Maccabi Tel Aviv reminded Jose Mourinho of what it feels like to win, the Chelsea manager has an important decision to make before facing Arsenal in the Premier League tomorrow.

Mourinho made six changes for the Group G Champions League game on Wednesday after Chelsea lost their third league game out of five at Everton last Saturday. Regular starters John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa were on the bench.

The commanding victory could boost confidence among the Chelsea ranks, but Mourinho must decide whether to return his underperforming stars to the line-up or keep faith with players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Loic Remy, who impressed against Maccabi.

With Willian and Pedro Rodriguez expected to miss the Arsenal game through injury, Eden Hazard should keep his starting place, despite a below-par performance against Maccabi where he missed a penalty after five minutes.

 

VAN GAAL VS KOEMAN

 

Manchester United travel to Southampton on Sunday, where Louis van Gaal will renew his rivalry with Dutch counterpart Ronald Koeman.

Their fractious relationship stems from when Koeman was manager at Ajax and Van Gaal was appointed technical director.

Last season, Van Gaal's United battled to a scarcely deserved 2-1 victory at St Mary's, before Koeman avenged the defeat with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

United heads to the south of England in inconsistent form - an impressive 3-1 victory against fierce rival Liverpool at Old Trafford was followed by a 2-1 loss to PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Captain Wayne Rooney missed both games with a hamstring problem and it's unclear whether he will be available against Southampton.

 

CITY WARY OF HAMMERS

 

Manchester City have five wins from their opening five games in the Premier League and are yet to concede a goal.

Manuel Pellegrini's team is the early pacesetter atop the standings and the overwhelming favourites to beat West Ham tomorrow - although it knows the east London club is capable of upsets.

Manager Slaven Bilic has already masterminded West Ham to two surprise away victories against Arsenal and Liverpool - games they were widely expected to lose. They comfortably beat Newcastle 2-0 on Monday and will head to Manchester confident of springing another surprise.

West Ham could face a City side missing Sergio Aguero. The striker went off after 25 minutes with a right-knee problem when his side beat Crystal Palace last weekend and missed Tuesday's loss to Juventus in the Champions League.