Chelsea manager Antonio Conte hailed Paul Pogba as a "top player" and revealed a desire to avoid his former player at Old Trafford on Sunday.
France midfielder Pogba flourished under Conte during their time together at Juventus, winning Serie A in both seasons.
But the 24-year-old has been less productive since rejoining the Red Devils for a then-world record £89million in 2016.
He was benched for the second time in three matches in United's midweek draw at Sevilla and Conte hopes he will remain sidelined for this weekend's crunch clash.
"My expectation is to see him on the pitch. If he stays out it would be better," Conte told reporters on Friday.
"Every coach has to find the right way to manage him.
"I think Pogba is showing at United as well he is a top player."
While Chelsea have no new injury concerns for the trip, Conte confirmed David Luiz, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Ross Barkley are all still unavailable.
Victory would see the Premier League champions move level on points with second-placed United.
Conte says Man Utd are a really strong team with great physical power. 'It's a massive game for us and we have to try to get the three points.' February 23, 2018
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