Mata not worried about energy levels
Published 07/05/2012 | 17:42
Juan Mata has insisted there is no chance of him suffering burnout ahead of what could be more overtime for the winger in Chelsea's Barclays Premier League game at Liverpool.
Mata looked set for a well-earned day off at Anfield following Saturday's FA Cup final triumph against the same opponents, but Newcastle's defeat to Manchester City and Tottenham's draw at Aston Villa - coupled with Arsenal's failure to beat Norwich - kept alive sixth-placed Chelsea's hopes of Champions League qualification.
They must beat Liverpool for the second time in four days on Tuesday to stand any chance of overhauling two of the three teams directly above them, and Mata believes he is ready for that challenge. The Spain star said: "I have plenty of energy left. It is a long season and my first in England, but the benefits of winning easily outweigh the fatigue."
Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo may wait for the outcome of Monday's game between Blackburn and Wigan before making up his mind how strong an XI to field at Anfield.
Chelsea host Rovers on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday and, if Steve Kean's men are already relegated, Di Matteo could be more inclined to field a weakened team against them and a very strong one at Anfield.
Kenny Dalglish's men will be desperate for revenge and to make amends both for their Wembley defeat and one of their most miserable seasons at Anfield in the club's history.
Mata said: "It's a hard stadium to play away at. Liverpool showed they have a great team and they are dangerous at Anfield.
"We have to win and still believe in playing the Champions League next year."
Frank Lampard, meanwhile, insisted Tuesday's game would have been harder if Chelsea had lost on Saturday.
"Less difficult than losing, without a doubt," he said, referring to the respective confidence both sides now have as a result.