Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that he may field a “weak” lineup against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday in order to keep his squad fresh for the Champions League semifinal second leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday. He responded that he would indeed do so but that it is not his final decision to make because it would have to be a club decision.
Jose Mourinho was asked if he would field a weaker lineup against Liverpool and responded:
“I think I will but it’s something we have to speak about internally. It’s not a decision a manager can make on his own. I can’t decide by myself, that’s a decision where I have to listen to the club. I’m just the manager, no more than that.”
The decision to field a weaker lineup was brought on by the fact that the FA and Premier League refused to move the game to Saturday to accommodate the Blues’ Champions League schedule. Mourinho referenced the fact that the Spanish La Liga has four teams in the semifinals of the Europa League and Champions League combined and they often make schedule changes to accommodate that.
“The fact the match is on a Sunday puts the problem not in my hands but the hands of the people who decide the game should be played on Sunday, not Saturday or Friday. We represent English football, we are the only English team left in Europe. Spain has four teams and gives them all the conditions to have success.”
Some say that fielding a weaker lineup is in protest against the FA’s decision to not reschedule matches at the clubs’ request. This has been a subject of contention for some time now and the smart decision for the FA, in order to protect its coefficient in Europe and the money that comes with it, to be more accommodating to making schedule changes. There is also the camp that believes Mourinho is doing so to give himself an excuse if they lose to Liverpool and others that say this is his way of giving his friend Brendan Rodgers of Liverpool the title over his rival Manuel Pellegrini of Manchester City.
Whatever you believe, rememeber that a “weak” lineup will feature Nemanja Matic, Frank Lampard, Mohamed Salah, and John Obi Mikel who will miss out on the second leg because of cup ties or suspensions. So unless Jose Mourinho fields a few players from the youth team or gives Nathan Ake, Marco Van Ginkel, and Tomas Kalas a starting position then it will still be a competitive Premier League starting eleven. Mourinho is a man of pride and will not be going to Anfield to crown Liverpool champions or roll over without a fight.
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Tags: Atletico Madrid Barclay's Premier League Brendan Rodgers Champions League Chelsea FC Chelsea Football Club Emanja Matic Frank Lampard John Obi Mikel Jose Mourinho Liverpool Manchester City Manuel Pellegrini Marco Van Ginkel Mohamed Salah Nathan Ake Tomas Kalas