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Manager Watch: Mourinho vs. Guardiola

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 By Michael Cox

Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte near tactical solutions after transition phase

Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge, but will Diego Costa steal the show like he did last season?
Antonio Conte has made several tactical changes to the Chelsea defence. The FC panel break down his ideas.
ESPN FC's Paul Mariner and Mark Donaldson assess whether Mourinho's job at United is the toughest in the Premier League.

For Chelsea and Manchester United, it's all about the word "transition."

These days, transition has come to mean the shift between defence and attack, or attack and defence -- the moment when possession changes hands, when one side can launch a break and the other has to think suddenly about stopping it. It was the main coaching buzzword a few years ago, and gradually became accepted in common football parlance.

On Sunday, with neither Chelsea nor Manchester United likely to insist upon possession...

Jose Mourinho vs. Pep Guardiola: Man United and City manager watch

The ESPN FC crew have little faith in Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte sending their squads out to attack on Sunday.

Manchester United and Manchester City landed two of the biggest managers in the game this summer. Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will resume their battle in the Premier League and ESPN FC is keeping a close eye on them.

Our correspondents Arindam Rej (United) and Jonathan Smith (City) bring us the latest weekly look at what both men have been saying.

Weekend match expectations

JS: Pep Guardiola has no intention of changing his style of play but could do with another victory to bring back the...

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has no plans for 'fantastic' Paul Pogba

Jose Mourinho says Paul Pogba has not been discouraged, despite recent criticism of Man United's big-money signing.

LONDON -- Antonio Conte has revealed that returning to Manchester United was Paul Pogba's "dream," but insists that Chelsea will make no special plans to stifle him at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Pogba and Conte enjoyed a productive partnership for two seasons at Juventus after the French midfielder decided to leave Old Trafford for Turin in the summer of 2012, winning two Serie A titles together.

And the Chelsea head coach remains a huge admirer of Pogba, who became the world's most expensive footballer...

Man City's Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany part of Pep Guardiola's plans

ESPN FC's Craig Burley says benching Aguero could come back to bite Guardiola in a big way.

MANCHESTER -- Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany remain part of his plans despite neither being in the starting XI for the Champions League clash with Barcelona.

Aguero was left on the bench for the 4-0 defeat, prompting speculation over the Argentine's future at the club, and captain Kompany was left out of the matchday squad despite travelling to Barcelona, with his Belgium teammate Kevin De Bruyne saying he was available for selection.

However, Guardiola...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Grading Jose Mourinho's performance so far as Manchester United manager

The FC TV panel have their say, but what do you think? Vote now!

In the three seasons since Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, Manchester United have finished seventh, fourth and fifth in the Premier League. Enter Jose Mourinho; how has the Portuguese done so far?

What grade does Mourinho get so far at Man United?

Mourinho made a number of high-profile signings ahead of the season, including a world record-breaking deal for Paul Pogba and the recruitment of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ahead of Mourinho's return to Chelsea on Sunday, though, United are just seventh in the Premier League with 14 points from eight games.