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Fitness boost or Mourinho mind game? Terry, Cech train pre-second leg

Apr 29, 2014, 7:39 AM EDT

Britain Soccer Champions League AP

Just one week ago, Chelsea suffered the double whammy of injuries to mainstays Petr Cech and John Terry in the first leg of its UEFA Champions League semifinal with Atletico Madrid.

The Blues also didn’t pick up a road goal at Atletico Madrid, making its task of advancing a bit more complicated for Wednesday’s second leg.

Well, wouldn’t the return of the defender and goalkeeper make that a little less daunting of a task?

Terry and Cech were back at training on Tuesday, and it’s unclear whether this is a near-miraculous recovery or simply more Jose Mourinho mind games.

He’s not called The Special One for nothing.

Terry’s ankle injury and Cech’s dislocated shoulder were supposed to end their seasons, but both hit the pitch in London and were joined by Samuel Eto’o (knee) and Eden Hazard (calf).

The winner of Wednesday’s match at Stamford Bridge will face either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid, which tangle on Tuesday at Allianz Arena with the Bavarians trailing 1-0.

  1. bradybbgoat - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Mourinho once again shows he’s one of the best. You want to make your opponent prepare for a squad at full strength. Why allow Atletico to focus in on Schwarzer when you can force them to prepare for both the possibility of Cech being available? Same goes for Terry, Eto’o etc.

    I’m a big N.E. Patriots fan, and I’ve seen Coach Belichick do the same thing. He listed Rob Gronkowski as questionable (50/50) for 6 straight weeks and he didn’t suit up once.

    The thing that all great coaches recognize is that you can’t leave any stone unturned in the search for an advantage. The more you can force the opposition to prepare for every possible scenario, the less chance they have to focus on what is most likely.

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