English Premiership

Mourinho seeks League Cup bounce

2015-10-26 12:46
Cesar Azpilicueta (Getty Images)

London - Besieged Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is in pressing need of a change of fortune going into this week's League Cup fourth-round matches.

Cup holders Chelsea, dealt a fifth Premier League defeat of the season at West Ham United on Saturday, visit Stoke City on Tuesday.

Chelsea's 2-1 loss at Upton Park was a damaging affair for the league champions, with Nemanja Matic sent off and Mourinho banished to the stands alongside assistant Silvino Louro, and full-back Cesar Azpilicueta says that he and his team-mates are itching to make amends.

"We want to play as soon as possible," the Spaniard told Chelsea TV.

"We have the game against Stoke.

"We want to get through and our mentality has to be to recover as quick as possible and to get into the next round on Tuesday."

With Chelsea 11 points off the pace in the league and in third place in their Champions League group, the trip to the Britannia Stadium offers an opportunity to sweep talk of crisis from the back pages.

But Mourinho must balance pursuit of victory with the need to avoid over-exerting his players amid a sequence of six games in 19 days that continues this Saturday with a home match against Liverpool.

Fixtures (21:45 SA time unless otherwise stated):

Tuesday:

Everton v Norwich City, Hull City v Leicester City, Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal, Stoke City v Chelsea

Wednesday:

Liverpool v Bournemouth, Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Manchester United v Middlesbrough (22:00, Southampton v Aston Villa

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Fixtures
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 17 December 2017
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 16:15
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 18:30
Monday, 18 December 2017
Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 22:00
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