Chelsea's Antonio Conte: It's a shame Nemanja Matic joined Manchester United


Antonio Conte expects to see Paul Pogba on the pitch when Chelsea face Man United, but admits it'll be better if he's left out by Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said it is "unfortunate" that Nemanja Matic is now a Manchester United player.

Midfielder Matic played a key role in the Blues' Premier League title success last season before being allowed to move to rivals United for £40 million in the summer.

Chelsea will be reunited with their former player at Old Trafford on Sunday and Conte expressed regret at the Serbia international's departure from Stamford Bridge.

"About this player I can talk only really well because he played with us last season," the manager said.

"I think he was one of the key players in winning the title. Now Matic, unfortunately, is playing for Manchester United. I wish for him the best -- not on Sunday, but in the future."

Matic was a regular for Chelsea last year, making 35 league appearances and also helping the club reach the FA Cup final.

Conte said last summer that selling the player was a "big loss" for the champions and, asked why Matic was allowed to join a potential title rival, his former manager replied: "In the past we have already managed this topic.

"I don't want to come back and speak about the past because I think it's not important, not interesting for us."

Fourth-placed Chelsea travel to Old Trafford three points and two places behind their opponents.

They produced a morale-boosting performance in the midweek Champions League clash with La Liga leaders Barcelona, although a mistake from defender Andreas Christensen resulted in the Spanish side snatching a precious away goal in a 1-1 draw.

Conte backed 21-year-old Denmark international Christensen to bounce back from the error and believes he can be a future Chelsea captain.

"Personally I forgot this mistake," he said. "If I had to talk about all the mistakes I made in my career, we'd have to be here for one day... it doesn't matter.

"Christensen is having a fantastic season and showing great maturity. He can also become the captain of this team in the future."