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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 11 May 2021
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'Rodgers won't fall for Mourinho's mind games,' says Ian Rush

The Chelsea boss has suggested that he may field a weakened team in Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash.

Rush talking to the media at an event promoting Liverpool's match against Shamrock Rovers in Dublin on 14 May.
Rush talking to the media at an event promoting Liverpool's match against Shamrock Rovers in Dublin on 14 May.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

LIVERPOOL LEGEND IAN Rush is confident that manager Brendan Rodgers can deal with the antics of Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho ahead of Sunday’s potential title decider.

The Premier League’s top two teams clash at Anfield in two days’ time with the Reds holding a five-point advantage over their nearest rivals and in the driving seat to claim a first league title in 24 years.

After seeing his players hold Atletico Madrid to a 0-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, Mourinho has suggested that he could play a second-string team and effectively concede the title with one eye on next week’s second leg.

However, former Liverpool striker Rush who won five league titles with the club between 1982-1990, believes Rodgers won’t be affected by any attempts at mind games.

“One thing is for certain, Brendan won’t fall for that,” Rush said in Dublin yesterday. “At the end of the day it’s about concentrating on what we’re doing.

“The last few weeks and months Liverpool haven’t changed anything and there is no need to change things now. Just concentrate on our game against Chelsea and see how it goes.

We’ll see on Sunday but not matter what team Chelsea put out they will be very difficult to beat.

“They’ve got the squad to compete in the league and the Champions League. Chelsea can still win the league if you look at their three games and if you’re a Chelsea supporter you should be thinking that.”

Ronan Finn with Ian Rush Shamrock Rovers' Ronan Finn with Ian Rush at the Aviva Stadium yesterday. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The Blues saw goalkeeper Petr Cech and captain John Terry pick up injuries against Atleti in midweek but Rush adds that they would be doing their fans an injustice by fielding a reserve XI.

“If I was a Chelsea supporter I would be disappointed as if I’m paying to go to Liverpool and want to see the best team play. They’ve got three games to go and if they win the three they can win the league so why shouldn’t you be looking at that?

“Look how much they paid for their squad and they are there to compete in the league and the Champions League.”

Ian Rush was at the Aviva Stadium yesteday ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Dublin on May 15 to face the Hoops. A limited number of tickets for the game are still on sale from €30*, with the first batch of category C tickets (€20) already sold out. Tickets are available from www.fai.ie or www.ticketmaster.ie.

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Ben Blake

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