Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has played down the importance of the Premier League clash against Chelsea at Old Trafford, saying the fixture does not have the same "special meaning" for the club's supporters as the games against Liverpool have.

United hold a three-point lead over the Blues in the league table and need to beat their top-four rivals to move above Liverpool into second place.

Mourinho had two successful spells as Chelsea manager, during which he won the Premier League title three times, but the Portuguese coach insisted that facing his former club held no special significance for him. The 55-year-old's second stint as Blues manager ended when he was sacked in December 2015.

"It's any normal game and probably to play Liverpool in a couple of weeks' time means more," Mourinho was quoted as saying by ESPN. "Because for my club – and everyone knows that the most important thing is not me – and my club's supporters to play Liverpool really has a special meaning.

"That's the way I have to look at things. And I don't have any bad feeling in relation to Chelsea Football Club to say, 'Oh, I'm going to play against my former club, I am going to prove this, I am going to prove that'.

"I'm not going to prove anything. In fact, every club I left – by my decision or by the board, which Chelsea was the only one – every one of my former clubs I have a very good feeling.

"I've never played against Inter since I left, but I played against Porto, Real Madrid and Chelsea. The feeling is just a good one. Not a special feeling."

Chelsea won plaudits for their display in the 1-1 Champions League draw against Barcelona in midweek, with the performance giving the Blues some much-needed momentum heading into back-to-back clashes against United and Manchester City.

Willian, who hit the post twice against Barcelona before scoring Chelsea's only goal of the game with a fine long-range effort in the second half, insisted that the Blues are capable of repeating their midweek performance at Old Trafford.

"I think we can stay at this level and we can go to Old Trafford on Sunday and play another great game. We have to play in a similar way," he was reported as saying.