Former United defender Arthur Albiston believes Jose Mourinho’s sharp exit from Stamford Bridge will work in United’s favour when Chelsea arrive at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Avram Grant was installed at the Blues’ helm following Mourinho’s departure on Thursday morning.
Albiston believes many of the Chelsea squad will be somewhat deflated by this week’s events and is backing United to end the weekend victorious.
“I’m expecting a full-blooded affair at Old Trafford and personally I believe Jose Mourinho’s departure will work in our favour,” he told ManUtd.com.
“It’ll be a huge loss for Chelsea and no matter what their players say leading up to the game, privately most of them will be very deflated at his exit.
“Many of the foreign lads probably only signed for the club because of Mourinho, while the two main English lads, John Terry and Frank Lampard, who were close confidants of Mourinho’s, will be absolutely gutted.”
Like United, Chelsea have not exactly made the start they would have liked. However, while the Reds have turned things around with consecutive 1-0 victories in their last three league matches, Chelsea have taken just four points from their last four games.
Albiston admits Sir Alex's men have not yet the heights of last season, but believes a win on Sunday would go a long way to aiding their title defence.
"Even if Mourinho hadn’t left, I’d still have said it’s a good time to play Chelsea," declared the MUTV pundit. "They’ve had a stuttering start to the season, losing at Villa and drawing at home to Blackburn, so they’ll be coming into the game on a bit of a downer.
"We haven’t been playing to our full capabilities, but the encouraging thing is we’ve still grinded out some excellent results. Of course, it’s still early, but it’s always very important to get results against your main rivals and a win on Sunday could go a long way to helping us retain our title."