Striker shortage no worry to Mourinho ahead of Man United clash

2014-10-24 11:46

London – Chelsea manager José Mourinho has shrugged off the fitness concerns surrounding his three main strikers ahead of the Premier League leaders’ match against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Loïc Rémy limped out of the Blues’ comprehensive 6-0 Champions League victory over Maribor on Tuesday after scoring the 14th minute opening goal, while Diego Costa was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Didier Drogba will start for the Premier League leaders against Louis van Gaal’s side despite Mourinho admitting the veteran is not fully match fit.

“Loïc has a muscular injury. I don’t know the dimension and I’m not worried. When a player is injured, play another one,” said Mourinho.

Asked whether Costa would be available, he added: “No, I don’t expect him to be.”

However, were Costa to feature at Old Trafford it wouldn’t be the first time a key player had appeared in a match just days after seemingly being ruled out by his manager.

Rémy went for a scan on Wednesday and if neither of his main two forwards are available, Mourinho is set to ask Drogba, who replaced Rémy against Maribor, to lead the line even though the 36-year-old Ivorian has only recently returned from an ankle injury.

“We are playing well, we are getting good results,” said Mourinho.

“We don’t cry about injuries. We just think one injury means an opportunity for somebody else.”

Sunday’s match pits Mourinho against United manager Van Gaal, who kept the Portuguese on his staff at Barcelona after he had been first brought to the Spanish giants by former England manager Bobby Robson.

But with United, having laboured to a 2-2 draw away to West Bromwich Albion last time out, Dutch manager Van Gaal knows it will take more than a detailed knowledge of Mourinho’s methods for his side to beat Chelsea.

“Now we have to play against Chelsea and in the Netherlands they say ‘that is another Kuche’, or another ‘biscuit’. By that I mean another level,” Van Gaal said.

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