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Featured: Liverpool should still expect a strong Chelsea (ESPN article)

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by Dave Usher for ESPN

 

Jose Mourinho caused something of a stir this week when he revealed that he would be asking Roman Abramovich for permission to "play the kids" at Anfield against Liverpool this Sunday. It could all be yet more tedious "mind games" of course, and few on Merseyside will be surprised if many of Chelsea's star names emerge from the Anfield tunnel for a game that up until the Londoners' shock loss to Sunderland last weekend had been billed as a "title decider", but even I've got to admit, old Jose does seem pretty serious about it, doesn't he?

 

He made his intentions clear in the aftermath of Chelsea's goalless draw with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semifinal first leg on Tuesday night, and the debate has been raging in the British media ever since as to whether this kind of thing goes against the "spirit of the competition" and if punishment should be dished out by the Premier League should the Chelsea boss carry out his "threat".

 

But does Mourinho owe it to Manchester City (and the spirit of the competition) to field his strongest possible side at Anfield? I don't think so. You could certainly argue that he owes it to Chelsea supporters, but that's another discussion entirely and one for them to deal with.

 

This kind of situation often occurs at this time of year. Teams at the bottom of the Premier League usually kick up a huge stink at the mere suggestion of one of the "big boys" resting players and prioritising other competitions. This time it's a side at the top who would be effected if Chelsea were to field a weakened side, but do any of these "wronged" teams actually have a legitimate cause for complaint?

 

Of course it depends on just how "weak" a side we're talking about, but in general I'd say that a manager should be entitled to select whoever he wants (within reason of course) and if he chooses to prioritise one competition over another, that's his prerogative. After all, it's his job that will be on the line if he isn't successful, so it really shouldn't be anybody else's concern how he sets up his own team. A manager has a duty to do what is best for his club, his players and his supporters. If City had taken care of their own business better they wouldn't be relying on Chelsea to do them a favour.

 

Read the rest of the article here.

 

Click here to view the article

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No question that Liverpool should approach the match as if they were facing a typical Chelsea XI, and try to do all the positive things that have put them in a position where they might well win the league. Sometimes, when you know you'll be facing 'weaker' opposition, you can let your guard down and take your foot off the gas, and that is something Rodgers and his players have to be wary of.

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I wouldn't trust the fucking moaning bastard if he told me it was thursday.

 

He is getting his excuses in early the fucking mongrel.

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I wouldn't trust the fucking moaning bastard if he told me it was thursday.

 

He is getting his excuses in early the fucking mongrel.

 

The irony of you calling him a moaning bastard given how you've taken over the rant threads on the GF!

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The irony of you calling him a moaning bastard given how you've taken over the rant threads on the GF!

You have a point . .

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He cant lose, if he wins or draws with a weakened side he will have the journos wanking him off for the summer....if he loses hes handed us the title....I fuckin hate this prick

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I think we are all missing the point. He has already won.

 

If just one less supporter turns up in Anfield Road to welcome the coaches - he has won, if just one flag is waved less vigourously - he has won, if just one voice sings "you'll never walk alone" with any less passion - he has won.

 

But it won't be "just one" it will be hundreds who think this game has been downgraded from one of the greatest battles and most significant games ever to take place at Anfield to a mere step in our procession to the title.

 

Whatever team he selects will be a collection of experienced, high quality professional footballers who do not like losing. They will not come like sacrificial lambs to the proverbial slaughter. They and their "fans" will come to prove a point to us bin dipping  jobless, no money upstarts. They will run, and they will kick, and fight and burst a gut to try and beat us.

 

Whether they are good enough to do that only time will tell - but they won't just be rolling over. Shame on any of you who think it will be otherwise.   

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Mourinho is such a fucking cunt. He's filled the arsehole shaped void Ferguson has left. Tosser, can't wait until Abramovic gets bored of his shit and fires him again.

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He cant lose, if he wins or draws with a weakened side he will have the journos wanking him off for the summer....if he loses hes handed us the title....I fuckin hate this prick

No title hand overs in play with City needing just one slip up from us. Until they slip up themselves this thing is very much in the balance until the final day!

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Even if he puts out a "second string" they will be fighting to show they should be in the CL team on Wednesday.

 

Will be far from easy but let's just twat 'em and worry about the reaction afterwards.

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Who cares what he says? He hasn't won at all because nobody outside of a few Peroni drinking estate agents from Fulham give a flying fuck what he says.

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This 'weakened team' bollocks has ensured that the press have not been asking why a team that cost £175m, with a further £25m coming off the bench, managed by someone who has won 7 leagues and 2 European Cups felt it necessary to play like a small club in a European Cup semi-final. Big clubs don't park no buses.

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