Jose Mourinho to rest three big players for Chelsea's game against Sporting Lisbon

John Terry, Willian and Eden Hazard are rested as the side has already topped their group.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said that three players will be rested for their Champions League game against Sporting Lisbon with the Blues progressing to the knockout stages as group winners with a game to spare.

Willian, Eden Hazard and John Terry are all rested for the side as Mourinho looks to manage his squad on four fronts with a busy Christmas period of fixtures on the horizon, but says Diego Costa will start against the Portuguese side.

Mourinho was keen to qualify for the next round of the competition with a game to spare in order to give some players a rest, which the Blues managed on matchday five with a 5-0 win over Schalke.

The Chelsea boss said: "We have so many matches to play in December. One of the few teams that also plays in the Capital One Cup in this moment. Other teams involved in the Champions League - only Liverpool are involved.

"This game gives us the chance to rest these three players. Step by step, match after match - we try to give them new period to breathe so they can face the second part of this December month. Diego Costa starts tomorrow."

As a result some younger stars will be able to start tomorrow's game, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek in line to play at least some part in the game.

The Chelsea boss added that he is determined to give younger players a chance like Loftus-Cheek, and said the academy is in better health than during his first spell at the club.

"Every manager in the world wants to bring young people up. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't - i can compare my spell here and now. The quality of the youngsters is better. I'm not saying they are ready, maybe a transitional period and a couple of loans - I have the conditions to do it.

"If you don't bring kids through the academy then the best thing is to close the academy. It's better to close the door and use the money to buy the players."

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