Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says his team have “prepared hard” for Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace – despite facing Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League just four days later.
The Premier League leaders make the short journey to south London this weekend looking to maintain their advantage at the summit of the table, which was trimmed to just one point by Liverpool, who defeated Sunderland in midweek.
Mourinho believes life is easier for the Reds and fellow title contenders Manchester City, because they don’t have the added distraction of the Champions League to deal with.
But the Portuguese claimed that Europe had been put firmly on the backburner at Stamford Bridge this week, with the London derby against the Eagles at the forefront of his mind.
Speaking at a press conference earlier today, Mourinho said: “When you have six days a week to prepare a match and maybe train twice a day, you have conditions to improve that nobody else has.
“You can see clearly that some of Liverpool’s players are not paying the consequences of accumulation of fatigue. You see freshness, you see players of a certain age who don't need to rest for matches. The season for them is the perfect season to do what they are doing.
“We have to play with two or three days in between and we have to change our focus from the Premier League to the Champions League, go back to the Premier League and then go back to the Champions League for another big game against Paris Saint Germain.
“It was difficult at home against Palace when Tony Pulis had only been there for about two weeks.
“Now after months of work and matches, they are much more a Tony Pulis team. They defend well, they defend a lot.
“They are very direct, very aggressive, they are very strong at set pieces and they have every quality that Pulis likes his teams have, so it is going to be very difficult, but we had a good week and we worked and prepared hard for this match, not for the PSG match, and hopefully we can have a good result.
“Tomorrow we are going to try to play well and to win the match, it is the only thing we can do, it is the only thing we have been doing for quite a long time.
“We are playing well and getting results. We have to be optimistic.”