Chelsea are set to be without Pedro and Willian for Saturday’s crucial Premier League game against Arsenal, Jose Mourinho has revealed.
Willian picked up a hamstring injury in Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday night and will definitely miss out against the Gunners, with Pedro also expected to remain on the sidelines with a muscle problem.
“Willian is out for sure, I think Pedro is out for sure,” Mourinho said after the game. “I prefer problems when players are playing well than problems when players are playing badly.”
One player that will be hoping for action against Arsenal is Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who impressed Mourinho in the win over Maccabi.
“I think he [Loftus-Cheek] played very well, which is very good for us,” said Mourinho.
“I think he is in conditions to compete with the others for positions and minutes but he is having minutes. He played already in the Premier League this season, now in the Champions League. He’s potentially a very good player.
“You have to feed these young players and choose the right moment but the reality is that his evolution is important.”
Eden Hazard blazed a sixth-minute penalty over the bar against Maccabi, but Mourinho says the Belgian can continue taking spot-kicks if he wishes – as it is unlikely his side will be awarded one in the Premier League.
“It’s up to him. If he wants, yes. If he doesn’t, no,” Mourinho said.
“How many times we have a penalty in the Premier League? I don’t think it’s a problem, to be fair.
“You start a game that you have to win and after five minutes you miss a penalty, it’s a great test of the character of the team.
“It’s good we had an extra negative episode and the reaction was very good.”