LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is unsure whether to stick with the attacking trio he lauded after the midweek win at Sunderland or recall his number one playmaker Oscar for Saturday’s tricky Premier League game at Stoke City.
Eden Hazard stole the show in the 4-3 victory at Sunderland on Wednesday, scoring twice and setting up a goal for Frank Lampard, while Mourinho also spoke glowingly about the contributions of the Belgian’s attacking partners Juan Mata and Willian.
Brazilian Oscar missed the trip after limping off with an ankle injury during Sunday’s 3-1 triumph at home to Southampton but is now ready to return for second-placed Chelsea who are four points adrift of leaders Arsenal.
“Oscar is much better and I have to decide whether to play him or not,” Mourinho told a news conference on Friday.
The Portuguese is again without knee-injury victim David Luiz. Fit-again Samuel Eto‘o could take over from Fernando Torres in attack while out-of-favour England left back Ashley Cole may come back in place of Cesar Azpilicueta.
”David Luiz is out, I don’t know when I’ll have him back,’ said Mourinho.
“Eto‘o is fine and back with the group. Tomorrow or Wednesday Ashley will play,” added the Chelsea manager referring to the home Champions League game against Steaua Bucharest in midweek.
”We’ve been analyzing the three goals at Sunderland and we couldn’t find the real mistake. We could find the rebound, the second ball, the ball that hits somebody and goes in the direction of the opponent.
“For all three goals we were trying to find defensive positional mistakes in relation to the way we prepared for the game but there was not one mistake.”
Stoke are 14th in the table and managed by former Chelsea favorite Mark Hughes.
Editing by Ken Ferris