Jose Mourinho to Rest Stars vs Manchester City


Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

According to reports in the UK newspaper The Mirror, Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho will rest several key players in the FA Cup clash against Manchester City this weekend. The report claims that Ramires, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Samuel Eto’o are set to be rested because “Mourinho is also keen to give Ashley Cole, John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, Andre Schurrle, new signing Mohamed Salah and fit-again Fernando Torres starts, to ensure they are match-fit for the business end of the Londoners’ season”. John Terry is fit again so he is in line to regain his place but Gary Cahill, who suffered a calf injury against West Brom, will miss the match as a precaution.

The Mirror claims key players will be rested because:

"The Chelsea boss knows the FA Cup is very much in third place on the club’s priority list and that even defeat to City on Saturday would give his side a chance to steal a march on their title rivals by beating already-out Tottenham Hotspur on March 8 – quarter-final weekend."

While the reasoning is sound, the fact that they make this seem like Mourinho is conceding the match to City is ludicrous. A lineup that features Torres, Lampard, Cole, and Salah may not be first choice for the Blues but it is by no means weak. Cole and Lampard are still first choice England internationals and the pace of Schurrle and Salah can give the City defense nightmares. Mourinho may be de-prioritizing the FA Cup a bit but there is no way he will simply concede the match to City. A defeat to City may be more damaging to the team’s psyche and morale and Mourinho is certainly gearing his charges up for a big time match on the weekend.

If Chelsea go to the Etihad and lose a hard fought match then it would not be the end of the world and City’s fixture congestion may help the Blues in the long run. However if Chelsea does win, it will be great for squad morale and Mourinho would gladly accept a few extra fixtures for a boost of confidence and morale for his team.

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