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Friday 9 December 2016

Jose Mourinho: Nobody is expecting an easy match from QPR

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho focused only on the football ahead of a potentially hostile London derby at QPR on Sunday.

Mourinho's first trip to play QPR at Loftus Road comes with Chelsea fighting for the Premier League title and QPR for survival.

There is also the unpleasant history between the teams resulting from the Anton Ferdinand affair which saw Chelsea captain John Terry banned for four matches and fined £220,000 by the Football Association for 'using abusive language related to colour'.

Terry is poised to return to Loftus Road for the second time since the incident in October 2011 which resulted in a trial and his subsequent acquittal before the FA imposed sanction.

The Blues skipper was stripped of the England captaincy amid the fall-out, and subsequently announced his retirement from international football.

On Sunday, he will avoid facing Anton Ferdinand's brother Rio, who branded him an 'idiot' over the affair, as the former Manchester United defender is out injured.

Mourinho played down the relevance of the incident, saying: "I don't think so. I think it's just a football match.

"Obviously a very important match for both teams. We know that, we know they want to win. Nobody is expecting an easy match."

Asked if he anticipates a hostile reception, Mourinho added: "That's what people tell me. I never played there, I don't know.

"We go to play, we go to win, the people in the stands can play a role, but they cannot score goals. The referee and the assistant referees are there, so I'm not worried."

Chelsea will be without striker Diego Costa with a recurrence of a hamstring injury suffered in last weekend's defeat of Stoke.

"We have eight matches to play, if he plays four it's normal," Mourinho said.

"If he plays three it's a little bit below what I'm expecting. If he plays five it's more than I'm expecting."

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