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Paul Ince: Jose Mourinho should not start Anthony Martial against Chelsea

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United and Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince believes that Jose Mourinho should not start Anthony Martial up front for his side’s FA Cup quarter final clash with Chelsea on Monday night.

The Portuguese will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, serving a three game ban following his elbow on AFC Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings, for the visit to Stamford Bridge.

He will now have to choose between Marcus Rashford and Martial when deciding how to fill the void up front left by the big Swede.

And Ince, speaking earlier this week, was quick to dismiss the idea of Martial starting up front against Antonio Conte’s side.

“Personally, I wouldn’t play Anthony Martial up front,” he said.

“For most of the season he has been anonymous. He hasn’t seemed right mentally, and for a little while his personal life was being dragged into the press.

“When he first came to United, he was absolutely outstanding. There’s no doubt he has taken a dip since then, although he looks to be getting back there. He’s frightening when he comes in from that left-hand side and makes things happen.”

Using Martial as a striker is more or less a thing of the past – something done by Louis van Gaal when it felt like, at least for a few weeks, that United could actually have a truly exciting season. Ince should know that the youngster has been used in the No.9 role only once this season – against Wigan Athletic – and was even then ultimately shifted out wide in the second half.

His presence on the left hand side, then, makes far more sense. Mourinho will want to see the combined verve of Rashford and Martial stretch Chelsea’s back three as much as possible. This was something they failed to do back in October, but supporters will hope to see their side demonstrate exactly how far they have come since that 4-0 drubbing – their last Premier League defeat – on Monday night.

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