Chelsea expect more tricks from Mourinho. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA via AP
Chelsea expect more tricks from Mourinho. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA via AP
Shotstopper Thibaut Courtois expects another thrilling match. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters
Shotstopper Thibaut Courtois expects another thrilling match. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters

LONDON – Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho “always has surprises” up his sleeve and the Belgian predicts another thrilling encounter when the teams meet in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Mourinho has switched to a back three and used midfielder Ander Herrera to man-mark Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard in the teams' last few encounters.

Courtois, who won the Premier League title under the Portuguese in 2014/15, said Chelsea are now better prepared for the challenge as they hope to finish the season with a piece of silverware.

“He always has surprises in the games he has played against us,” Courtois told the London Evening Standard. “He has different systems to play. Sometimes he played three at the back, sometimes four. He will always find something.

“I think it’ll be a good game, lots of familiar faces on both sides. I hope it’ll be a good game with Chelsea as the winner. We can know a little bit how he set up in the last two years against us, but that’s it.”

A 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United on the final day of the league season ended Chelsea’s hopes of Champions League qualification as they finished fifth in the standings.

But Courtois is confident the recent results will have no impact on their preparations for the Wembley final.

“The confidence is all right,” he added. “It was not a good performance from us but we’ve showed we can bounce back the game after. This is a different cup and we just have to go for it.”