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Chelsea and Juve will provide an acid test for Mourinho’s Manchester United


Beating Newcastle lifted the spirits at Old Trafford but Mourinho’s defence will soon be tested by some of the best

All that speculation over José Mourinho’s future subsided pretty quickly, did it not? There cannot really have been much of a crisis at Manchester United if a single last-gasp win over a team in the bottom three has made everything hunky dory again, though once the uneasy international break truce is over the matter will be put to the test at the weekend.

United’s next three opponents are Chelsea, Juventus and Everton, a bit more of a challenge than Wolves, Derby and Newcastle, and it is not inconceivable based on recent form that they might struggle to win any of those games. The manager had the bright idea in the narrow 3-2 victory against Newcastle of pulling Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic back to operate alongside Chris Smalling because – stop me if you have heard this one before – United do not possess any central defenders of sufficient quality to play the ball out from the back.

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