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Salah expected to retain starting spot at Liverpool as Mourinho cleared to rest key players
According to reports in England, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has agreed to José Mourinho’s controversial plan to rest a number of key players at Anfield on Sunday ahead of the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Atlético Madrid next week.
A win for league leaders Liverpool over second-placed Chelsea will practically seal the Premier League title for the Reds, but Mourinho admitted the Champions League is his top priority.
Asked during the press conference on Tuesday how he will approach the Liverpool game, Mourinho said: “I can’t decide by myself. That’s a decision I have to listen to the club. I’m just the manager and I have to listen to the club.
“The fact that the match is on Sunday, I think puts the problem not in my hands but in the hands of those who decide the game should be on Sunday and not Saturday or Friday.
“We represent English football and are the only team in European competitions. Spain has four and gave them all the conditions to try to have success, so I know what I would do. But I’m not the club. I have to speak to them. I would play with the players who are not going to play Wednesday.”
The club’s Russian owner reportedly agreed to Mourinho’s plan, and will not prevent the Chelsea manager from making numerous changes for the trip to Liverpool on Sunday.
Mohamed Salah – who started in Chelsea’s last three Premier League games – and Nemanja Matić are both cup-tied in Europe this season, which makes them likely to start alongside Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel, who will miss the Champions League showdown against Atlético Madrid due to suspension after picking up their third bookings of the competition on Tuesday.
It is worth mentioning 21-year-old Salah was Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers’ primary target during the January transfer window, who admitted missing out on the Egyptian was ‘difficult to take‘.