Jose Mourinho to sacrifice crunch Chelsea cup tie for Spurs’ Europa League quest

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has already conceded defeat in the Carabao Cup because of their packed fixture schedule.

Mourinho is set to face former club Chelsea in the fourth round of the competition on Tuesday, despite playing out a 1-1 draw with Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday.

And Spurs then have another match two days later, with their Europa League qualifying play-off against Maccabi Haifa taking place in north London on Thursday night.

That will be their third game in the space of five days, meaning Mourinho has all but given up on the Carabao Cup ahead of Chelsea’s visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“I would like to fight for the Carabao but I don't think I can,” he said.

“We have a game on Thursday that gives us not as much money as the Champions League but the group phase of the Europa League gives us a certain amount that for a club like us is very important.

“It's a competition with a possible group phase that gives us a good chance to go through to the next knockout stage so this game on Thursday is very important for us.”

When discussing the prospect of rotating his squad, Mourinho said: “You can imagine that with a game on Thursday that decides a very important thing for us, I think the EFL made the decision for us.

“They didn't even create us a problem, they made the decision for us.”

Mourinho has been left envious of Chelsea counterpart Frank Lampard, insisting his former player has the option to field a full-strength side after their 3-3 draw away at West Brom on Saturday.

“Chelsea played on Saturday, they have Sunday and Monday. Then they played Tuesday and then they play again on the weekend,” he said.

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“So (with) their fantastic squad – if the manager decides not to rotate, he can perfectly play with the players that he wants.”

Lampard became the first ever manager to do a league double over Mourinho last season, which should give the Spurs boss at least some incentive heading into tomorrow’s encounter.

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