Mikel is tired – Mourinho

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said Nigeria midfielder Mikel Obi is fit again.

However, the former Real Madrid boss said he would not pick the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Cup winner for Saturday’s Premier League match against Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.

Mikel has recovered from knee surgery and has been training but the Portuguese manager said he is tired to play a game now due to the injury.

“In this moment we have no injuries, but Mikel is not selected. He’s fine and has worked all week with the group,” AfricanFootball.com quoted Mourinho as saying on Friday.

“He’s very tired so he is not selected, not injured. Mikel is tired because he was injured for a month, had surgery and was not working with the group.

“After four sessions with the group he needs time to adapt and be in condition.”

However, Mourinho also expects Eden Hazard to start against Stoke, despite complaints of fatigue during the week following the international break.

The forward was involved in Belgium’s 5-0 win over Cyprus, and then the 1-0 win over Israel, in their Euro 2016 qualifying group.

Mourinho also claimed the title race has now extended to four teams, given how tight the top is, and refused to do what he did in 2004-05 and predict a date Chelsea would win the league.

He told AFP, “Four (teams) now,” Mourinho said, with the two Manchester clubs and Arsenal all giving chase.

“Look at the points difference. You have to say four now. Not five, because there’s a gap from fourth to fifth and, with eight matches to go, that’s a difficult game from first to fifth.”

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