Jose Mourinho admits that Chelsea are ‘in trouble’ because of their mounting injury problems.
The Chelsea manager is hopeful that he will have Diego Costa back in action for the weekend game against QPR but feels the injuries to Ramires and Loic Remy coupled with the short turnaround between Sunday’s game and Tuesday’s Capital One Cup clash is a major headache for his team.
“I have only one day, we travel to London and we are travelling to Shrewsbury. We are in trouble because we have so many injured players,” Mourinho said. “It is even more difficult for us to go. We have to go. We now have a difficult match. Because they are doing very well in their league and doing very well against superior teams in the Capital One Cup. It’s a big day for them. We know it will be difficult for us. But that’s football.”
“Every game is important. Shrewsbury is not a friendly. We have to play matches with respect and the best way to respect Shrewsbury is to go there with a good team. Not to go there with a weak team and lose. It is to go there with a good team –if they win, they win, but they win against a good team. We are in a difficult situation with regards to today but, when you look at the players who didn’t play – Schürrle, Salah, Zouma, Aké, Mikel – these boys are obviously going to have to play.”
With injuries to Loic Remy and Diego Costa, Andre Schurrle is likely to start up front as the lone striker against Shrewsbury. Costa’s fitness problems have been a major concern for Chelsea this season. He has not trained properly since returning to London after Spain’s Euro 2016 qualifiers against Slovakia and Luxembourg, in which he played only eight minutes.
When asked about the availability of the Spaniard, Mourinho replied: “I think so. QPR, one week more, I hope so. The virus is fine. It was hard when Costa went to hospital and obviously it doesn’t help to recover from the injury. But he didn’t come [to Old Trafford] because of the injury, not because of the virus. He aggravated the hamstring because he played two matches in three days and was not with us.”
Meanwhile in a boardroom shake-up following the departure of chief executive Ron Gourlay last week, former Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow has joined Chelsea’s board to run their global commercial activities.
A statement on Chelsea’s website read: ‘Chelsea football club is pleased to announce that Christian Purslow is joining the club to run our global commercial activities. Mr Purslow’s appointment is effective immediately.’
Probable Line-up (4-5-1): Petr Cech(GK); Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma, Felipe Luis, Todd Kane; John Obi Mikel, Nathan Ake, Lewis Baker, Oscar, Mohamed Salah; Andre Schürrle