Premier League

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez says there is no rift with Oscar

Oscar: Praised by Rafa Benitez for being so eager to play

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Rafa Benitez has described it as 'fantastic' that Oscar was not happy to be left out of Chelsea's starting line-up for Sunday's Club World Cup final against Corinthians.

Oscar is set to feature in Wednesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final at Leeds United but has been used sparingly by interim manager Benitez to date, starting just three of his seven games in charge.

The Brazilian playmaker expressed his disappointment after being selected on the bench against Corinthians, but Benitez insists there is no rift with the player.

"Oscar is fine. He's a very good professional. We don't have any issue with him," he said.

"I try to manage players, especially in his position because we have Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, who can do more or less the same job.

"It's difficult for them but it's good for me because I have different problems. There are no issues or problems.

"Oscar will have a lot of time on the pitch and I'm sure he'll be a great player for the club.

"Oscar's not happy because he's not playing and that's fantastic. There would be a problem if it was the opposite."

Leeds will be Benitez's eighth game in charge since taking over 25 days ago, a hectic schedule that continues with Christmas fixtures against Aston Villa, Norwich, Everton and QPR.

"We have to win every competition if we can. We have rivalry with Leeds and we have one less competition to win after losing on Sunday," Benitez said.

"We can't just call it another game, it's a very important match for us.

"Christmas time is a crucial period because you can play so many games that will change everything."

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