Chelsea v Manchester United preview: Zlatan Ibrahimovic begins suspension

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Chelsea v Manchester United preview: Zlatan Ibrahimovic begins suspension

Zlatan Ibrahimovic begins a three-match domestic ban when Manchester United face Chelsea in Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final.

The 35-year-old, who assisted United’s goal in their 1-1 Europa League draw against Rostov on Thursday, received the suspension after the FA took retrospective action for his elbow on Tyrone Mings against Bournemouth.

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte, meanwhile, refuses to be distracted by the mind games deployed by managerial rivals including Jose Mourinho, saying talking does not win games.

Conte said: “I’m very focused on the pitch. The mind games don’t bring you to win, above all if you face a team who is focused.”

The Blues will have had a full week of rest by kick-off on Monday night, while Mourinho could make changes with the match falling in between the two legs of their Europa League last-16 tie.

Team news

Conte has a fully-fit squad and is considering his options for the match.

Chelsea captain John Terry has played in the three prior FA Cup rounds, but the defender’s place against United is not guaranteed. And with Chelsea next in action at Stoke five days later, Conte could field his first-choice line-up.

Ibrahimovic is suspended while Luke Shaw and Wayne Rooney, who were both left out of the Europa League squad in Rostov, come back into contention.

Eric Bailly could also feature after serving a European suspension in Russia, where United emerged unscathed despite concerns over the pitch. Bastian Schweinsteiger remains a doubt with an unspecified complaint.

Opta stats

Manchester United have won seven of their last nine FA Cup ties v Chelsea, but have lost the last two (2007 final, R6 in 2013)

Mourinho has won four of his last six games against teams he previously managed (L2) but was beaten 4-0 earlier in the season on his return to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings with Manchester United in all competitions (W6 D5), last losing to them 3-2 in October 2012.

United have scored just three times in their last nine clashes with Chelsea, and never more than once in any of those games.

Chelsea and Manchester United have met in the sixth round of the FA Cup three times before, with the Blues progressing twice (1949/50 and 2012/13).

Conte reached the Coppa Italia quarter-finals in each of his three seasons at Juventus, but didn’t go onto win the tournament (runners-up 2011/12, semi-final 2012/13 and quarter-final 2013/14).

The last time Mourinho reached an FA Cup semi-final was in 2006/07, going onto beat his current club Manchester United in the final.