Jose Mourinho does not think he will be able to field his strongest Chelsea team early in the Premier League season because of World Cup fatigue.
Mourinho will not rush his six World Cup stars, who have had precious little club preparation, back into action because of the risk of injury, echoing comments from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on Friday.
Germany’s Andre Schurrle, Brazil trio Oscar, Willian and Ramires and Belgian pair Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have missed most of Chelsea’s pre-season after their World Cup exploits.
"This is modern football," Mourinho said ahead of Monday night’s trip to Burnley.
"It’s going in this tendency – more matches, more competitions, less time to work, even not enough time to have a real holiday for bodies and brains that top football players need. There’s not enough time.
"In our case we had a group that had good holiday and a good pre-season, then we had another group because Spain was out in the group phase, and that allowed us to get five players before we expected.