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