There is one game left on the Chelsea football calendar, the FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday. It’s a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal that Chelsea won 1-0 at the Bridge thanks to a goal from N’Golo Kanté and some astute refereeing — there’s a phrase that’s in no danger of getting worn out — when Mourinho’s hack-a-Hazard strategy backfired and Ander Herrera was sent off barely 30 minutes into the game.
United had a bit of an injury crisis back then at center forward — Rashford, who started, was ill, while Ibrahimovic, Rooney, and Martial were either suspended or injured — and had been looking at the prospect of that scenario repeating itself next weekend. But, as José Mourinho revealed after their 1-0 win over Watford on Sunday, Romelu Lukaku is expected to be back in training this week and will presumably be fit to start. Good news for him, bad news for us.
“Romelu will be back for Tuesday so we’ll see, but Anthony, I have to wait a bit more.”
Anthony refers to Anthony Martial, who was not in the matchday squad on Sunday and thus caused a few speculative murmurs on Twitter.
Mourinho said Anthony Martial would play today but he's not in the squad. No reason given yet. He was at Old Trafford about 12pm but drove away.— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) May 13, 2018
According to Mourinho, that was due to an injury that Martial picked up on Friday. Other reports are calling it a knee problem, albeit a minor one.
“He had treatment at the training ground this morning. I don’t know if he will be fit for the final.”
-José Mourinho; source: BBC
No Martial is one less option for Mourinho, and probably good news for Chelsea, maybe even beyond just this one game. Martial has been strongly linked with a summer exit from Old Trafford — especially after typically harsh public dressing down of United’s non-first-choice players a few weeks ago by José — and this could be another step in that direction. Chelsea were linked a few times already, alongside the likes of Juventus and Spurs.