Will David Luiz or Zlatan Ibrahimovic come out on top when Chelsea host Manchester United? We check the stats…
Luiz and Ibrahimovic played their final game together for Paris Saint-Germain on May 21 – the 4-2 French Cup final win against Marseille – bringing to an end two trophy-laden seasons as team-mates.
Just over five months later, the pair are set to renew acquaintances, this time as rivals when Luiz’s Chelsea host Ibrahimovic’s United on Super Sunday.
David Luiz and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG 2014-2016
Luiz returned to Stamford Bridge for £30m on transfer deadline day to play under Antonio Conte, his sixth different Chelsea manager over two spells. The fifth of those managers was Jose Mourinho, who is back at Stamford Bridge as United manager on Sunday, 10 months after leaving Chelsea 16th in the Premier League table.
Of Luiz’s 148 appearances for Chelsea, 34 came under Mourinho in 2013/14. Although the Blues finished empty handed for trophies that season, Luiz, often from a midfield position, did help contribute towards the best defensive record in the Premier League (conceded 27 goals). In fact, Chelsea only conceded five goals in Luiz’s final 13 Premier League games under Mourinho.
David Luiz record by Chelsea manager
|Apps (all comps)||12||28||29||40||34||5|
|Goals conceded per game||0.75||1.0||1.4||0.9||0.76||1.4|
|Clean sheet %||33||39%||31%||35%||50%||40%|
Zlatan has never played alongside or under Chelsea boss Conte, but the Italian has made a significant dent on Ibrahimovic’s remarkable record of league title wins. The Swedish striker has finished top of the league in 12 of the last 13 seasons, the only exception being 2011/12, when Conte led Juventus to the Serie A title in his first season in charge, finishing four points above Ibrahimovic’s AC Milan.
The only other manager to prevent Ibrahimovic claiming a league title in the last 15 seasons was another man with Chelsea connections – Guus Hiddink – with the Dutchman leading PSV to the 2002/03 Eredivisie title, with Ibrahimovic’s Ajax runners-up.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s last 15 seasons
|Season||Club||League position||Title-winning manager|
|2002/03||Ajax||2nd||Hiddink – PSV|
Despite this being Ibrahimovic’s maiden Premier League campaign, it will be the fourth successive season in which he has faced Chelsea following a string of Champions League ties with PSG. They were usually eventful occasions for the Swede, with two goals, an assist and a red card in the three most recent meetings.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic record against Chelsea (all for PSG)
|Apr 2014||CLQF 1st leg||W3-1||H||–||1||–||–|
|Feb 2015||CLR16 1st leg||D1-1||H||–||5||–||–|
|Mar 2015||CLR16 2nd leg||D2-2||A||–||–||–||1|
|Feb 2016||CLR16 1st leg||W2-1||H||1||7||–||–|
|Mar 2016||CLR16 2nd leg||W2-1||A||1||4||1||–|
So far so good for Ibrahimovic against Chelsea – unbeaten in five games out of five – but if Luiz and company bring that record to an end on Sunday, it would see Chelsea move five points clear of United in the Premier League.
Ibrahimovic will be doing his utmost to make sure that isn’t the case, and to end his current four-game run without a Premier League goal. Another goalless appearance for Zlatan would make this his longest League drought for over six years.