Throughout the season there have been soundbites emanating from Stamford Bridge press conferences indicating that Chelsea manager is not best pleased with the fixture list handed to his side by the Premier League. In November, the Portuguese was infuriated at the amount of games his side had to endure, while just recently, he declared that Manchester City have an easier run-in.
The statements had been taken lightly by many in the media as football scribes inked various columns attributing this to Mourinho's latest psychological ploy… mind games, if you will, however, former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson appears to have sympathy for Jose.
'Chelsea will feel hard-done-by having such a tough game this week,' he said to Sky Sports, noting Chelsea's home game versus Everton on Saturday lunch-time.
'Man City and Arsenal both played in the Champions League in midweek and Jose Mourinho would have thought this was a good weekend to capitalise, but they've both got easier games than this.'
Chelsea, though, have a fantastic record against Everton, winning nine and drawing nine of their last 18 home games against the Toffees in the division. Of all teams in the league, it is Chelsea who are on the longest unbeaten run (won eight, drawn three), while Mourinho, too, is protecting one of the most awe-inspiring records in England: he remains unbeaten at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, a record that stretches 73 matches having won 57 and drawn 16.
Merson envisages a strong team to be fielded against Everton in order to obtain a 2-1 win and maximum points ahead of their crucial Champions League clash against Galatasaray in Turkey on Wednesday, February 26.
'Chelsea can't afford to make changes ahead of the trip to Galatasaray because the most important thing is still the Premier League in my opinion and they need to play their strongest side.'
He concluded: 'I still think they will win - and it's important they win because it's the early game. It will be tight, though…'
image: © Ben Sutherland