Chelsea’s José Mourinho seeks ‘different dynamic’ for visit of Maccabi
Posted : Sep 16th 2015 2:08pm by The Oslo Times
News Serial Number : TOT8
José Mourinho is set to rest Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry and Diego Costa for Chelsea’s opening Champions League group game against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday, offering Ruben Loftus-Cheek a first start in the competition, as he seeks to revive his side after a slapdash start to the domestic campaign.
The Premier League champions are enduring their worst opening to a top-flight season in 29 years, having won only once in five games to date to trail Manchester City by 11 points, and confront Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Mourinho trained with 23 players at Cobham on Tuesday and intends to utilise his squad against the Israelis with Baba Rahman expected to debut at left-back, Loïc Rémy to a make a first appearance since the Community Shield, and Oscar returning after injury in attacking midfield.
Mourinho is without Radamel Falcao, who is nursing a slight tendon injury, while Pedro Rodríguez has a minor thigh problem. Yet, while the Israelis will hope to emulate Basel and Schalke over the last two seasons by emerging with reward from an opening-round visit to Stamford Bridge, the Portuguese will take the opportunity to grant some of his experienced players some respite – Ivanovic principal among them – as he seeks to kick-start a recovery.
“I have a squad, I trust the squad and I don’t have to play with the same XI,” he said. “I can make changes. I know the consequences of that because, if I make a couple of changes in my team, instead of you saying, ‘He has a squad, he has more options, he is looking for a new dynamic, he wants to give a couple of chances to people who have been working hard,’ I know what you will say. If I leave out Azpilicueta it’s ‘because I have a problem with him’. The same with Terry, the same with Fàbregas. So I know the consequences.
“But I cannot be worried about that. I have to be just worried about my team and players. Yes I will make a couple of changes because I have to try and [create a] different dynamic, I have to try a couple of different faces, and to give chances to people who have not been playing but have been working hard. I promise you we are all working. When we say business as usual, it’s true. Business as usual, with one difference: we are not happy.”
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