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Wednesday April 23, 2014 MYT 7:17:02 AM
Wednesday April 23, 2014 MYT 7:18:10 AM
Chelsea's coach Jose Mourinho reacts during his team's Champions League semi-final first leg soccer match against Atletico Madrid at Vicente Celderon Stadium in Madrid, April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Staples
MADRID (Reuters) - Chelsea could field a weakened team in their top of the table Premier League game at Liverpool on Sunday, said manager Jose Mourinho after Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Atletico Madrid.
With his second-placed side five points adrift of leaders Liverpool with only three games left, Mourinho is clearly prioritising next week's Champions League semi-final second leg at home to Atletico over their slim Premier League title hopes.
The Portuguese, however, said he would speak to the hierarchy at Chelsea before making a final decision on the team he would field at Anfield on Sunday.
Asked on ITV Sport if he would select a weaker team against Liverpool, Mourinho replied: "I think I will but it's something we have to speak about internally. It's not a decision a manager can make on his own.
"I can't decide by myself, that's a decision where I have to listen to the club. I'm just the manager, no more than that."
He said Chelsea had already tried and failed to get the Premier League to switch the Liverpool game to Friday or Saturday in order to give his team more time to prepare for the second leg against Atletico.
"The fact the match is on a Sunday puts the problem not in my hands but the hands of the people who decide the game should be played on Sunday, not Saturday or Friday," explained Mourinho.
"We represent English football, we are the only English team left in Europe.
"Spain has four teams and gives them all the conditions to have success," added Mourinho, referring to the fact that the top sides in La Liga often get the chance to play on a Friday or a Saturday ahead of Champions League midweek fixtures.
Chelsea will be without midfielders Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel for the second leg against Atletico after they were booked in Tuesday's 0-0 draw.
(Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Toby Davis)
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