Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is concerned that several of his players who featured in the latter stages of the World Cup will not be match-fit for the start of the Premier League season.
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Mourinho saw forward Andre Schurrle win the final with Germany on July 13, five days after his Brazilian trio of Willian, Oscar and Ramires were knocked out at the semifinal stage by the eventual champions.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal confirmed at the weekend that Robin van Persie -- who played under Van Gaal in Brazil as Netherlands reached the semifinals -- will not feature in his club's league opener at home to Swansea City on Aug. 16 as the striker will not be physically ready.
Mourinho, speaking after his side lost a friendly against Bundesliga side Werder Bremen 3-0, could make a similar decision for his first match of the new campaign against Burnley two days later.
"Eden [Hazard] trained two days, Didier [Drogba] trained three days," Mourinho told Chelsea TV, as reported by the Daily Mail. "They need these matches to look for their form.
"It worries me because the boys [returning late from the World Cup] that start tomorrow don't have time to get ready for the start of Premier League.
"We cannot deny that our first half was poor. The reaction was good in the second half. Eden brought something to the game."
The Portuguese coach added to the club's official website: "It was important for [Cesc] Fabregas to get 90 minutes, that was a positive sight and it's important.
Key European club fixtures
French Ligue 1 -- Aug. 8
FA Community Shield: Manchester City vs. Arsenal -- Aug. 10
German Super Cup: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich -- Aug. 13
English Premier League -- Aug. 16
Spanish Super Cup: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid -- Aug. 19 and 22
Spanish La Liga/German Bundesliga -- Aug. 23
Italian Serie A -- Aug. 30
"[Thibaut] Courtois is the same as the others, two days' training and playing today for 45 minutes, he needs to play, we don't have lots of time. It's only two weeks until the start of the season so we gave him and Petr [Cech] 45 minutes each, the next match in Turkey it will be the same."
Hazard, a World Cup quarterfinalist with Belgium, made his first preseason appearance against Bremen, and admitted he had taken his mind off the game during his post-tournament break.
"I enjoyed one month [off] -- it was easy. I didn't' think about football, but now I'm back. We will try to win ]our next match] and give the best to be ready for the first game."