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Man United star says win over Chelsea could set team up for the season

SoccerBy Sunday World
Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford feels a win for the team on Sunday on Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea "could set us up for the rest of the season".

Mourinho's United go into the Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge having recovered from three straight losses in all competitions last month by putting together an unbeaten run that extended to six matches with Thursday's 4-1 Europa League win over Fenerbahce.

Their last league outing, Monday's 0-0 draw at Liverpool, left them seventh in the table with 14 points from eight games, two places and two points behind Chelsea.

And Rashford told MUTV: "If we can go there, produce a good team performance and hopefully get the three points, that will give us a good boost and could set us up for the rest of the season."

On Monday United did a very good job of limiting their hosts' attacking threat.

Particularly early on in a game that saw them show impressive defensive discipline throughout, Mourinho's men stifled Liverpool's usual high press with a pressing strategy of their own.

United, who had only 35 per cent possession, also created very few chances, and Rashford has acknowledged the importance of trying to have "the freedom to play" as well as keeping opponents subdued.

But the 18-year-old England international feels a similar "attitude" to that which they had at Anfield will serve the Red Devils well on Sunday.

"You never know how the game is going to be until you get out there but I think it's important we get into the game and start fast," he said.

"That's what we did against Liverpool - we got into their faces and showed we weren't going to be pushed around, and we need to go there with a similar attitude. The bigger the games are, the better for us.

"We have to try to keep them quiet and give ourselves the freedom to play as well, but it's a difficult thing to do, especially away from home, so we have to have the same mentality and mindset as we did at Anfield.

"In these games, it's a lot to do with one-v-ones and, if you get the better of your opponent, maybe you get the better of the game; that could be the situation on Sunday, so

I think we have to work hard individually and collectively to get a result."

Sunday's game will be Mourinho's first match at Chelsea since his second spell as Blues manager came to an end in December.

While he was subsequently appointed as United boss over the summer, the west London club also brought in a new manager in Antonio Conte.

Conte's side have had a revival in results themselves of late, bouncing back from two straight league defeats by beating Hull and then champions Leicester.

And Rashford sees the two clubs as being very comparable at the moment.

He said: "They have a very strong squad.

"They've been a bit up and down but the manager has got them in a good shape and structure, and I think they've got a good plan of where they want to be.

"I think they're in a similar situation as us."