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Rafa: Chelsea squad stretched

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez admits his squad is stretched ahead of their trip across London to play Brentford in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

Last Updated: 27/01/13 at 11:19 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: Selection problems ahead of the FA Cup game with Brentford

Rafa Benitez: Selection problems ahead of the FA Cup game with Brentford

Injuries, suspensions and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations have taken their toll, with the Spaniard's side set to play their 40th game of the season at Griffin Park.

"In terms of selection it has to be different, we do not want too many players playing too many games," Benitez told the club's official website.

"We have played nine games a month, we have two in the Africa Cup of Nations, we do not have too many bodies, and we have to change the approach.

"If you play them too much they do not have the physical intensity. The players are a little tired.

"Sometimes with the quality you have you can win games if you are not 100 per cent fit. We have seen players rested and the game after were really good.

"We are playing too many games. Swansea (who knocked Chelsea out of the Capital One Cup in midweek) had played 26 games.

"You can say it is the same in every club, every top side has the same situation. The difference is if you have more bodies you can manage. It is always the same.

"You play a cup competition and you think how you can use different players. If you can keep the level you will progress and have more chances to win trophies.

"With the players you have you can manage the shape of the team, but the style has to be playing good football on the floor with pace and a high tempo. It's what we have.

"(On Sunday) we will try to strike the right balance. We need to deal with a different team in a different pitch but I cannot explain too much about what we do. It's part of our game plan and how we approach the game in terms of tactics.

"We will use different players but the question is how many of these players can you use to keep the level and have fresh legs. We have an idea."

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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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