Preview: Chelsea v Sporting

While José Mourinho plans to give his younger squad members a chance against Sporting Clube de Portugal, Marco Silva is still full of respect for Chelsea FC's quality.

Chelsea manager José Mourinho overseeing training on the eve of the game
Chelsea manager José Mourinho overseeing training on the eve of the game ©AFP/Getty Images

José Mourinho is pleased to give youth a chance against Sporting
Marco Silva admits Sporting are under-strength but "playing well"
Nemanja Matić earned Chelsea a 1-0 victory in Lisbon on matchday two
Sporting have won just once in their last 17 European away games
The Londoners' club-record 23-match unbeaten run ended on Saturday

Permutations: Chelsea (11pts) v Sporting (8)
Chelsea went through as group winners with a 5-0 triumph at FC Schalke 04 on matchday five.
Sporting will be through with a draw, or if Schalke do not win.

Possible lineups
Chelsea: Čech; Ivanović, Cahill, Zouma, Filipe Luís; Mikel, Matić; Loftus-Cheek, Oscar, Schürrle; Rémy.
Out: Aké (hamstring), Terry (rested), Hazard (rested), Willian (rested)

Sporting: Patrício; Esgaio, Maurício, Paulo Oliveira, Jonathan Silva; William, Adrien, João Mário; Slimani, Mané, Carrillo.
Out: Cédric (suspended), Nani (right thigh), Jefferson (unspecified)

José Mourinho, Chelsea manager
[Ruben Loftus-Cheek] will play. A month ago he played in Lisbon in the Youth League, so you can imagine the difference between the Sporting academy with maybe 1,000 spectators and one month later playing in the real Champions League in front of 45,000 and all the lights on him.

We don't need a reaction [to Chelsea's first defeat of the season, 2-1 at Newcastle United FC on Saturday]. We don't need to change things, our philosophy. [John] Terry, Willian and [Eden] Hazard are on holiday. I would like to give the whole squad tomorrow off because they are always playing. This game gives me the chance to rest at least three players.

Every manager in the world wants to bring young talent through. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don't. When I compare the club now with my first spell here, the quality of the academy is better. I don't say they are ready – they still need a transitional period or a couple of loans – but the quality is much better. If you go to other clubs it is the same thing.

Tomorrow is important but I feel rather than Ruben's day, it is the academy's day, because it is a clear message the first team is sending to them: work, work, work, and at the right moment, with the right talent, it will arrive.

Marco Silva, Sporting coach
Chelsea's defeat last weekend doesn't change anything – on the pitch it's 11 against 11. We respect Chelsea but it's about our game. We know they will be very hard and we have to play within our limits. One point is enough but we want three.

The 11 players I will field are not my best, but all my players are important. Nobody believes in us but we can show everybody if we qualify that we deserve to, because we're playing very well. We want to win to qualify or at least get in the Europa League.

For sure Chelsea's young players are good – they're playing for Chelsea. We are prepared for that. If we speak about my team, we are without Nani, Cédric and Jefferson. I believe in my players and we will fight.

In football it's tricky to pay attention to the other matches going on. One point is our target; if we fail we'll wait for the other result. I will not tell the players the score. Teams from Portugal have not had good results in this stadium, but we will fight for our target. We have to respect ourselves and play our football. We need to have personality as it'll be difficult to win here, but I ask our players to enjoy playing in this stadium and to try to play our game.

Weekend results
Newcastle United FC 2-1 Chelsea (Cissé 57 78; Drogba 83) 
Boavista FC 1-3 Sporting (Silva og 87; Carrillo 54, Carlos Mané 56, João Mário 81)

Form guide (all competitions)
Chelsea: LWDWWW
Sporting: WWWWDW

Match facts
• Sporting have won only one of their last 17 European away games – who did they defeat and when? Find out in our match background

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