• Premier League

Mourinho heads for title race row

ESPN staff
April 23, 2014
Will Mourinho rest key players?

Jose Mourinho has threatened to rest key players for the Premier League's key game in the title race on Sunday when Chelsea go to Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers' league leaders are five points clear of Chelsea with three games remaining and the Portuguese wants to concentrate on the Champions League after drawing 0-0 with Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final on Tuesday.

But the selection of a perceived weakened team is bound to anger Manchester City, Liverpool's main rivals for the title, who are third in the table and six points behind Liverpool with a game in hand.

Mourinho said: "I would play with the players that are not going to play Wednesday. This is not a decision the manager can make on his own. I'm just a piece in the big club and I have to go with the decision we make collectively.

"If the club decides to go with everything in the direction of the Champions League, I'm ready for that. We have a big match on Wednesday to play, a big match that can give Chelsea another Champions League final."

Chelsea will be without goalkeeper Petr Cech for the rest of the season after he suffered a shoulder injury against Atletico, while John Terry's campaign could also be over after the captain limped off with a foot problem.

Chelsea's 2-1 defeat to Sunderland last weekend means even a win at Anfield would not be enough to prevent Liverpool from securing their first league title in 24 years should Rodgers' team win their other two remaining games.

Mourinho, moody before the Atletico game and sarcastic about Premier League refereeing last weekend, is unhappy that the match against Liverpool is scheduled for Sunday and remains in combative mode.

"When the Premier League decide to put that Liverpool game on Sunday, when Liverpool refuse to play on a Saturday, it is a decision I have to make with the club, if the club wants to go with everything in direction of the Champions League I am ready for that," he said.

"The Premier League should [fight for our match to be played on Saturday]. We have a big match on Wednesday. We ask, ask and asked again to play on the Saturday. I know what I would do, but I'm not the club. I have to speak with the club."

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