Allardyce: Fatigue could become a problem for Chelsea

Sam Allardyce believes that Chelsea have been lucky with injuries this season.

The Blues currently lead the Premier League title race, having yet to lose a game this season.

11 wins and three draws have seen Jose Mourinho’s men sit six points clear of second placed Manchester City, and the Portuguese coach has been remarkably consistent with his team selection. Aside from some injury troubles in the striking department - leaving Didier Drogba as the only match-fit forward for a spell - Mourinho has named an almost unchanged starting XI for every single game.

Saturday’s tie with Newcastle will represent a change from this consistency, with the Blues forced to mix up their midfield due to the suspension of Nemanja Matic, but, despite the Serb’s absence, it is almost inevitable which other 10 players will start the game.

Thanks to some incredible luck in the injury department, the Blues have used the fewest players of any top flight side, and, whilst Manchester United have been ravaged by injuries at the expense of consistency on the field of play, the West Londoners have retained an impeccable record thanks to their fitness department.

There is a visible correlation between the number of players used and positive results, and West Ham boss Sam Allardyce - who himself has struggled with injuries in the last month - told the Standard that a fully fit squad can mean so much these days.

“If you are somehow lucky with injuries, then it can mean so much,” the 60-year-old said.

“Chelsea, for example, have been fairly fortunate up to now and Jose Mourinho has been able to be consistent in his selection.”

What is even more impressive for Mourinho is that he has maintained a squad in which many of the players represent their countries during international breaks. He managed to prevent Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas from turning out for Spain during the last round of international fixtures, and the coach appears to be going someway towards finding the perfect balance between club and country appearances. However, Allardyce believes that fatigue could become a problem for the Blues later in the campaign, with the players who took part in the World Cup potentially suffering from the lack of break enjoyed over the summer.

He added: “Fatigue doesn’t seem a problem but it could be further down the line with his [Mourinho’s] World Cup players.”

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