Liverpool v Chelsea: Jose Mourinho given backing to rest key players in Premier League match at Anfield
The manager wants to focus his resources on the club's Champions League campaign
Jose Mourinho will be given permission by the Chelsea board to pick a weakened team against Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday, with the club backing their manager's prioritising of the Champions League.
The Chelsea manager first threatened to do so in the aftermath of his team's Champions League semi-final first-leg 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid, with the second leg at Stamford Bridge just three days after the game at Anfield. It is understood that the board resolved to give their support to whatever Mourinho sees fit to do.
There is no Premier League rule against him picking a weakened team. The original rule was abolished after the controversial decision to fine Ian Holloway £25,000 for making 10 changes to his Blackpool side in 2010. While Mourinho said that "if we have to play the kids, we play the kids" on Tuesday, his changes are not likely to be anything as drastic as that.
Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are both ineligible for the Champions League and Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel are suspended for the second leg, which means they are all likely to play at Anfield. The likes of Demba Ba and Ashley Cole have had precious little game time of late, Tomas Kalas and Marco van Ginkel even less.
Mourinho was today charged with misconduct by the Football Association for his comments following Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Sunderland. Midfielder Ramires has been charged with violent conduct for striking Sebastian Larsson, while assistant Rui Faria, who was sent off, faces two misconduct charges.
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