‘No pun­ish­ment for Chelsea if they field re­serves at An­field’

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Chelsea is un­likely to be pun­ished by the Pre­mier League if Jose Mour­inho car­ries out his pro­posal to field an al­ter­nate side at Liver­pool on Sun­day to safe­guard Cham­pi­ons League hopes.

Third-placed Manch­ester City, who could over­haul Liver­pool if Chelsea win and they win their game in-hand, could be an­gered if Mour­inho opts not to utilise his front­line play­ers at An­field.

But the Blues, who in­sist they have qual­ity through­out the squad, are not ex­pected to in­fringe reg­u­la­tions that were re­laxed af­ter Black­pool was pun­ished in 2011.

Clubs can se­lect any player in their 25-man squad list with­out fear of sanc­tion; ac­tion would likely only be taken if a num­ber of younger play­ers from out­side the list are selected.

Mour­inho, who plans to dis­cuss his se­lec­tion op­tions with the Chelsea hi­er­ar­chy, is with­out goal­keeper Petr Cech (dis­lo­cated shoul­der) for the re­main­der of the sea­son and cap­tain John Terry (an­kle) for at least a week. But Frank Lam­pard, John Obi Mikel, Ne­manja Matic and Mo­hamed Salah are among those who are likely to fea­ture at An­field.

Lam­pard and Mikel are both sus­pended for the Atletico clash af­ter pick­ing up first­leg book­ings, while Jan­uary sign­ings Matic and Salah are in­el­i­gi­ble in Europe.

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