Premier League leaders Chelsea face a busy schedule as they will play three games in the next eight days starting with Hull City today. Jose Mourinho’s side have been relatively comfortable compared to other sides when it comes to the squad being stretched as they possess brilliant depth in every position. Despite that, the amount of games that they will play in the coming weeks will definitely test Mourinho’s squad rotation skills.
When asked about a potential problem arising with the congestion of fixtures and keeping players fit, the Portuguese said, “I don’t think one player will play these six matches. The ones that play more will have to go to five. I think I have to give them one rest.
“We have two days off after the Derby game which allows the players to go home – not the South American ones because it’s very far – but the ones around England like Belgium, France, Germany and so on.
“They can go and have a nice dinner with their families. It’s the only two days I can give them. We play on Tuesday against Derby, I give them the Wednesday and Thursday off, and after that they’re back on Friday to play on Monday against Stoke.”
Chelsea’s only injury concern in the last few months was summer signing Diego Costa. However, the presence of Didier Drogba and Loic Remy more than made up for it as the duo did the job whenever they were called upon. Unlike Chelsea, title rivals Manchester City recently suffered a huge blow as their striker Sergio Aguero was ruled out for a month after picking up an injury in their last game against Everton. City have relied heavily on Aguero’s goals, which means that they could struggle in the next few weeks when the fixtures start to pile on.
The fixture where it all started again
Mourinho will lead his side at home against Steve Bruce’s Hull City today, the team against whom he made his return as Chelsea’s manager last season. His side were triumphant on that day thanks to goals from Oscar and Frank Lampard. When asked about where Chelsea stand at the moment compared to last season, Mourinho replied, “We’re a completely different team. There has been evolution in the quality of our game and evolution in many individuals after so many weeks of work. We are a better team. I hope the result can be the same.
“We are better and I think Hull are with the great work Steve [Bruce] is doing.”