Mourinho to give youth a chance against Sporting

Jose Mourinho will use Chelsea's final UEFA Champions League group fixture on Wednesday to blood some of his young players.

Chelsea are already assured of top spot in Group G, but welcome second-placed Sporting to Stamford Bridge this week.

With John Terry, Willian and Eden Hazard rested for the midweek fixture, Mourinho has hinted at giving younger squad members the chance to make their mark in the first team.

One of those players is 18-year-old midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who Mourinho says could play some part on Wednesday before spending more time with the senior players in the new year.

And Loftus-Cheek - yet to make a first-team appearance for the club - says it is pleasing to finally get his chance after a decade in the youth ranks.

"I've been at the club since I was eight, so to be involved and training with the first team means a lot to me," said Loftus-Cheek on Tuesday. "We've got some good talent coming through. 

"It won't be easy to make the breakthrough but we have to be positive. 

"All the young players are excited to be getting opportunities and we're confident in our ability to do well."

Loftus-Cheek featured in an academy fixture against Sporting last month, and Mourinho concedes Wednesday would be a big step up for the youngster.

"I don't know if Ruben will play," he added. "One month ago he played in a Champions League new generation game.

"You can imagine the difference between playing in a Sporting Lisbon academy with 1,000 spectators and one month later to play against the real Sporting, with 45,000 people and all the lights on him.

"To be here since he was eight and to have a chance to play for Chelsea is every kid's dream.

"I'm so happy to give kids the chance, especially if I give them the chance and they have the tools to make a career at Chelsea. An English player completely made in Chelsea.

"At the moment, the people in the academy are feeling like they are working for something. Tomorrow is the academy's day."

Mourinho also confirmed Diego Costa will start the game, while Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas could also feature.