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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Chelsea's Courtois expects Mourinho 'surprises' in FA Cup final

Reuters , Wednesday 16 May 2018
Chelsea
Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois celebrates after Willian scores their first goal (AFP)
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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho "always has surprises" up his sleeve and the Belgian predicts another thrilling encounter when the two teams meet in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Mourinho has switched to a back-three as well as used midfielder Ander Herrera to man-mark Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard in the two teams the last few encounters.

Courtois, who won the Premier League title under the Portuguese in the 2014-15 season, said Chelsea are now better prepared for the challenge as they hope to finish the season with a piece of silverware.

"He always has surprises in the games he has played against us," Courtois told the London Evening Standard. "He has different systems to play. Sometimes he played three at the back, sometimes four. He will always find something.

"I think it'll be a good game, lots of familiar faces on both sides. I hope it'll be a good game with Chelsea as the winner.

"We can know a little bit how he set up in the last two years against us, but that's it."

A 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United on the final day of the league season ended Chelsea's hopes of Champions League qualification as they finished fifth in the standings.

However, Courtois is confident the recent results will have no impact on their preparations for the final at Wembley Stadium.

"The confidence is all right," he added. "It was not a good performance from us. But we've showed we can bounce back the game after.

"This is a different cup, different to the Premier League and we just have to go for it. That's most important. After a season of ups and downs, we can finish on an up."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.) 

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