Jose Mourinho's £37m masterplan to click into action at Manchester United?

Will Jose Mourinho's sale of Juan Mata prove the decisive moment in the title race after all with Manchester United taking on Manchester City on Tuesday evening?

Jose Mourinho will tell anybody who will listen, Chelsea are not favourites to win the Premier League. It's clear kidology, but the facts are that if Manchester City win all their remaining games, they will be champions.

So the Chelsea boss will be looking on with interest in midweek when Manchester City visit Manchester United, hoping the Red Devils can lift themselves win a second successive home match.

United have all the motivation they need, having been beaten 4-1 by City earlier in the season and lost their last grudge match at home to Liverpool 3-0.

They beat Olympiakos last week by the same scoreline, and a player forced to watch on from the sidelines was record signing Juan Mata.

Mata came back into the side against West Ham and impressed at the weekend, but will be desperate to have his say in a big match against United's rivals.

He told yesterday: "It will be the first one for me and I’m looking forward to it. You can already feel in the streets that special atmosphere."

The Spaniard has had mixed start since his £37 million move from Chelsea in January, playing well without dazzling, unable to prevent some poor results, and notably failed to shine against Liverpool.

He will feel he owes his new club a big performance on a show piece occasion, especially after missing out on the Champions League last week. As he remains cup tied, it's no stretch to look at United's fixture list and say this is the biggest game on his personal calendar between now and the end of the season.

And if he proves the match winner, nobody will be feeling more smug than Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who will be able to boast that his sale of the playmaker will have proved pivotal in the club's title battle against City.

It was a transfer which Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger described as 'unfair', as Chelsea had already played United twice and knew Mata could directly help the Red Devils take points off the club's rivals after being sold.

It has not proved the case yet, but the grand stage of Old Trafford under floodlights against their bitter rivals is the perfect stage for not only Mata to prove his worth, but make his old boss happy as well as his new one.

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