Following an impressive 3-1 win over Burnley to open the 2014 campaign, Mourinho has high expectations for his squad entering its second match, according to Chelsea FC:
With that said, he is cognizant of the challenge the Foxes present. Leicester pulled off a draw against Everton in their first EPL match in a decade last week. Because of that, Mourinho doesn't plan on taking his opponents lightly:
One of the biggest talking points among Chelsea supporters and EPL fans in general is the status of all-world goalkeeper Petr Cech. The 2011-12 UEFA Champions League-winning keeper is still among the best at his position, but he has been supplanted by Belgium's Thibaut Courtois.
While Mourinho knows that Cech would rather be playing regularly, he had nothing but good things to say about his backup stopper, per ESPN's Miguel Delaney:
Mourinho may not be able to whet Cech's appetite for consistent playing time, but he is hopeful that playing a winning brand of football will compensate for that:
Although it may be a tough sell for Cech, Mourinho's preference is to keep him on the squad this season, according to BBC Sport:
Of course, a transfer involving Cech is still very much in play if it is determined that keeping him around is no longer a viable option. Even though the Sept. 1 transfer deadline is quickly approaching, Mourinho isn't particularly worried about it:
Mourinho was also naturally asked about polarizing striker Mario Balotelli. According to The Telegraph's Chris Bascombe (h/t Andrew Das of The New York Times), the Italian star is reportedly set to make a move from AC Milan back to the EPL with Liverpool. That means he may soon be a chief rival of Mourinho and the Blues.
Chelsea's manager knows Balotelli well since Balotelli played under him at Internazionale from 2008 through 2010. According to Delaney, Mourinho is hopeful that everything works out for his former player:
There is a great deal of chaos related to the start of the EPL season, but Mourinho's main focus certainly seems to be on Leicester. Chelsea will enter that match as a massive favorite, and there is no reason why they should come away with anything less than a win.
Leicester's draw against Everton last week was a great result, but it was also a lucky one. The Toffees dominated play; however, a fortuitous bounce allowed the Foxes to tie it late.
As long as Mourinho's team executes and finishes its opportunities, though, a victory should be in the cards.
Mourinho seems extremely confident in what Chelsea can do this week and over the course of the entire season. It will be interesting to see if that confidence rubs off on his players.
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