Football

Courtois expects Mourinho FA Cup surprise

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 Sunday morning (Singapore time).

Mourinho has switched to a back three and used midfielder Ander Herrera to man-mark Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard in previous encounters.

Courtois, who won the English 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...

"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 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.

He said: "The confidence is all right. 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."

Manchester United's Phil Jones, meanwhile, believes an FA Cup triumph could boost their chances of winning the league next season.

He said: "It will be our last game of the season - if you win that, you finish on a positive note and you go into the next season feeling confident, ready to go and ready to battle again for the title.

"I think winning the FA Cup and going into next season will be good for us." - REUTERS

Football