Jose Mourinho appeared in fine spirits ahead of Chelsea's fixture with Paris Saint-Germain, jokingly revealing five of his starting players for the crunch Champions League quarter-final first leg in the French capital.
When asked to name his first XI, Mourinho playfully listed, "Petr Cech, (Branislav) Ivanovic, (John) Terry, (Gary) Cahill and (Cesar) Azpilicueta," per Sky Sports.
As you can see in the video below, the Portuguese manager then screwed up his team sheet in fear of Chelsea's tactics being leaked to the world. He did so with a characteristic smile—a far cry from the glum-faced exit he endured during the Blues' recent 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace.
While Mourinho revealed very little—the named players were always going to start—his relaxed attitude is refreshing after a difficult couple of weeks for the Stamford Bridge faithful. Defeat at Selhurst Park added to the recent loss against Aston Villa; two results which seriously hamper Chelsea's chances of capturing the Premier League trophy.
Mourinho had previously appeared to goad Laurent Blanc ahead of the upcoming tie, reported by BBC Sport. He suggested PSG's only competition is mega-rich Monaco in Ligue 1, something the World Cup winner responding angrily to by saying, "If I remember correctly, I think it was the same for him in Spain, with Barcelona and Madrid."
Sky Sports suggested Mourinho was on a "charm offensive" after Blanc's comments. He proceeded to praise PSG, saying their "choice of players was fantastic," noting "the passion in the city is also good and the Parc des Princes is a beautiful place to play."
The Chelsea boss will be hoping his team secure a handful of away goals during the opening tie. PSG's defence is built upon strong foundations, including Thiago Silva and former Chelsea centre-back Alex, ensuring the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian will need to be at their hard-working, penetrative best.
PSG possess the one thing Chelsea do not: a consistent striker. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is key to the French side's success and faces a tough battle to overcome the power of John Terry and Gary Cahill. The Swede has netted 10 goals in seven European appearances this season, recorded by WhoScored.com.
Mourinho's jovial manner indicates he is relaxed ahead of facing his former player, even if he is unwilling to blurt out his full line-up in front of the world's press.
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