Stoke City; tagged as the Rugby team of the EPL are known to be more physical than usual at home
Ahead of the tie at the Britannia Stadium on Monday, Jose Mourinho is calling the referee’s attention to the aggressive play of the hosts.
Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross, earlier in the season gave away a penalty when he held down Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony in the box and a matchup of the club’s top striker Diego Costa with Shawcross is hammed, where Mourinho says he will congratulate the player if he does his job in a good way.
When asked about the pair-up by reporters, Mourinho queried: “Are you expecting a battle?”
He continued with: “With one player trying to score goals, the other trying to stop him? It depends the way he tries to stop him. If he tries to do it in a good way and is successful maybe I will be waiting for him in the tunnel to congratulate him. If not, I hope the referee does his job.’’
The 52 year-old warned that if it went beyond the rules of the game and the acceptable defence techniques that his boys who are not afraid of being physical, would as well do the same.
“Remember we are a physical side, too. So it should be no problem for us. We are physical too. Nemanja Matic is a football player. You can be a big guy and be a fantastic player. You can be a big and not be physical or overly aggressive. Matic plays. Look what he does on the pitch. A beautiful left foot.
"At this moment, the way Chelsea play we have no space for physical players without technical quality. We are a technical side who want to play football. We have our own identity. But we can compete with physicality. That’s no problem for us. The referee is there, and I’m not worried because the referee is there.”
Chelsea need the win at the Britannia Stadium if they are to hold on to being leaders through the Christmas break after City’s 3-0 win on Saturday which pairs them as point sharers but for one goal difference.