Swedish hit man Ibrahimovic will not play against the Blues in the FA Cup quarter-final on Monday night as he starts his three-game ban.
The United frontman was banned by the FA after elbowing Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings in retaliation to being stepped on last weekend.
And without their top scorer former Newcastle boss Souness has given United very little chance of reaching Wembley when they face the Premier League table toppers.
“They wouldn’t want to play United in the final, so they’ll be happy to have this game now with the form they are in. It’s only good news for them that Ibrahimovic is not going to play,” Souness told the Sunday Times.
“He has to play for them to be anywhere near winning the big games but if they can get through this period it could help as they pursue a place in next season’s Champions League.”
“At the start of the season I said that if United were going to have a good one it would be down to Ibrahimovic. That’s how it has turned out. He’s their main man. He’s quickly become their biggest influence.”
Gary Neville believes United could sacrifice their FA Cup quarter-final with Chelsea in a bid to boost their Champions League qualification hopes.
“It comes down to what Mourinho prioritises,” Neville told Omnisport. “ The FA Cup could be a competition that United sacrifice because they have to try and get into the Champions League.
“Obviously the only two routes are the Europa League and Premier League games.
“It will be a big challenge mentally on Monday. It might be the one, at this moment in time, that they can sacrifice in terms of trying not to complicate the fixture congestion any more.”