Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he wants to field a weakened team in Sunday’s Premier League game against Liverpool.
The Portuguese boss has set his sights on a place in the Champions League final after an away 0-0 draw in the first leg of the semifinal tie against Atletico Madrid.
The Blues' defeat at home to Sunderland last weekend hit their hopes of winning the Premier League title, and those aspirations suffered further following the news that goalkeeper Petr Cech and club captain John Terry will miss the remainder of the domestic campaign. So Mourinho is eager to turn his focus onto the second leg of his side’s Champions League semifinal against Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday and not this weekend’s trip to Anfield.
Insisting he will not be able to make the decision to rest key players ahead of the return clash with Atletico in London, Mourinho offered this response when asked by ITV Sport whether he wants to rest key players in a game at Anfield: "I think I would. This is something we have to speak about.
"This is not a decision the manager can make on his own. I’m just a piece in the big club and I have to go with the decision we make collectively.
"If the club decides to go with everything in the direction of the Champions League, I’m ready for that. We have a big match on Wednesday to play, a big match that can give Chelsea another Champions League final."
Chelsea’s game against Liverpool is crucial to the destiny of this season’s Premier League title, with Manchester City needing Brendan Rodgers' Reds to slip up in one of their final three games to open the door for them to get back into the race for top spot.
“We have to think, we have to speak, we have to speak internally. There is a few decisions to take for the next match that I can’t take by myself," said Mourinho.
Chelsea's manager bemoaned the refusal of Liverpool to play their game on Saturday instead of the originally scheduled Sunday date, which would give Chelsea players extra time to rest before Champions League.
"The Premier League should fight for our game being on the Saturday," said Mourinho. "They should fight. We ask, ask, ask to play on the Saturday. No."
Mourinho went on to offer further comment on the issue in his post-match news conference, as he pointed accusing fingers at the authorities running the Premier League.
“We represent English football and we are the only English team that is European competition,” he added. “Spain has four and gave them all the conditions to try to have success.
“I know what I would do, but I’m not the club. I have to speak with the club. I would play with the players that are not going to play Wednesday.”