Sky Sports: New twist in title race?
- 23 April 2014 08:12
- Posted by @dclayton_mcfc
The race for the Premier League title may have taken another twist following Chelsea’s draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday evening.
City fans knew an energy-sapping game before the West London side travelled to Liverpool on Sunday was not ideal preparation for a fixture that could prove pivotal in the three-way battle to be champions.
But following Jose Mourinho’s post-match comments in Madrid, Sky Sports report he is considering fielding a weakened team at Anfield after losing a number of influential players to injury.
Report Sky: “Prior to that game, Chelsea head to Anfield looking to cut the five-point gap to Liverpool in the final three matches of the season.
“But after the 2-1 home defeat to Sunderland last time out in domestic action Mourinho has admitted he now wants to prioritise his quest for continental glory, a decision which may upset Manchester City, who are still battling for the title too.
“The Portuguese coach will consult the Chelsea hierarchy before deciding which players to field at Anfield, with his preference to opt for those who will not feature against Atletico next Wednesday due to the proximity of the matches.
‘I can't decide by myself,’ Mourinho said. ‘I think that's a decision I have to listen the club. I'm just a piece; I'm just the manager and no more than that.
‘I have to listen to the club. I think the fact that the match is on Sunday I think puts the problem not in my hands.
‘We represent English football and we are the only English team that is European competition. Spain has four and gave them all the conditions to try to have success.
I know what I would do, but I'm not the club. I have to speak with the club. I would play with the players that are not going to play Wednesday
This is a story that will, no doubt, continue to grab the headlines in the run up to the weekend and with Jose, it could all be kidology!
Meanwhile, The Independent believe David Silva’s ankle problem may not be as bad as first feared.
The brilliant Spaniard, so important to the Blues’ title aspirations, was stretchered off against the Baggies on Monday but Mark Staniforth writes: “Manchester City will learn on Wednesday whether their hopes of overhauling Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table have suffered a crucial blow when influential midfielder David Silva undergoes a full scan to determine the severity of the injury he picked up on Monday.
“After the Spain international was carried off during the 3-1 win over West Bromwich, City's manager, Manuel Pellegrini, said Silva had suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury which had been dogging him in recent weeks.
“Today's scan will reveal whether the injury will rule Silva out for the remainder of the season, though even if it is not that serious he is almost certain to miss City's League trip to in-form Crystal Palace on Sunday.”
More injury news in the Daily Express who focus on Yaya Toure – another massive loss to City at such a crucial stage of the campaign.
John Wragg writes: “City manager Manuel Pellegrini said of Toure, another big, influential player for City: ‘He's working on the players' two days off this week and then he will start working again with the squad. After that we will see if he can play on Sunday.’
“Toure was injured in the 3-2 defeat at Liverpool and it was predicted he would be out for a fortnight. City's chances of catching Liverpool without either Toure or Silva would be remote and that is why Pellegrini is hopeful of the former making a comeback on schedule.
“He is suffering from a groin injury and was initially ruled out for the rest of the season. Toure has scored 22 goals this season and made seven more.
“Pellegrini refuses to admit it is a forlorn hope for City to win the league and certainly the return of Toure, 30, would be a massive boost.
‘When we lost to Liverpool the title was out of our hands,’ said Pellegrini. ‘But nothing has changed from that point. We have to try and win all our remaining games and then see what happens. That is our duty.’"