Jose Mourinho has revealed that he is not planning to make wholesale changes to the team for the meaningless match against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League. Chelsea will top Group G irrespective of the result at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
This was seen as an opportunity for Mourinho to completely change the team. The Portuguese boss has largely fielded the same line-up since last international break. He has only brought in players like Didier Drogba and Mikel due to suspensions. Only Terry, Willian, and Hazard will not be involved against Sporting. Speaking ahead of the match, Mourinho said:
“Terry, Willian and Hazard are on holidays. I would like to give the whole squad the time off but we are always playing and we have good solutions for those positions, so they are off and they will not play.
“We have so many matches to play in December, we are one of the few teams in the Premier League that also play in the Capital One Cup.
“Of the other teams involved in the Champions League, only Liverpool are involved in the Capital One Cup, so they all have periods to rest, we don’t. This game gives me the chance to rest those players.”
Chelsea have won only once in the last three matches and the issue of tiredness has been mentioned as a possible reason. Physical tiredness is not the only aspect players have to deal with, as mental tiredness also plays a huge role. Football is a game where decision-making plays an equal, if not bigger, part along with talent in determining success.
Mourinho is one of the few who watches the squad from close up every day. He appears to be satisfied with the current crop of first-team regulars even after suffering the first defeat of the season. Only time will tell if the run of matches will start to take its toll towards the end of the campaign.