One of the biggest talking points at the start of this season's Premier League campaign has been Jose Mourinho's decision to leave out David Luiz and, in particular, Juan Mata.

The Portuguese coach has his reasons for omitting the pair, but there's no getting past the fact that Luiz and Mata are two of Chelsea's most talented and important players.

Mourinho will start both players in this evening's Capital One Cup tie away at Swindon Town, who could be forgiven for feeling a little wary ahead of this third round clash.

Both Luiz and Mata - along with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and several others - will all head to the County Ground with a point to prove to Mourinho, who has made it abundantly clear that he doubts their ability to fit into his system.

Mourinho wants them to adapt to his demands - but that is easier said than done for these star players, who are used to playing with a degree of freedom and flexbility on the pitch.

Mata has won Chelsea's Player of the Year award for the last two seasons after being granted permission to drift into various positions around the penalty area, but Mourinho only wants tactically-disciplined footballers who will perform the specific jobs asked of them.

How this impacts Mata's displays remains to be seen - the Spain international has only appeared a few times so far this season - but the playmaker is one of football's good guys and will be keen to knuckle down and win back the No. 10 role from Oscar for Saturday's Premier League clash against Tottenham.

Similarly, Luiz possesses a professional mentality - despite his flamboyant style of play - and will aim to take full advantage of tonight's opportunity by producing a commanding display to make Mourinho sit up and take notice.

Convincing Mourinho that he's wrong is no easy task - just ask Iker Casillas - although Mata and Luiz both possess enough ability to leave the Portuguese with little choice but to play them.

Chelsea haven't enjoyed the best of starts to the season. How much better they'd have done with Mata and Luiz is anyone's guess: but they surely wouldn't be any worse off.

It's a long season, and Mourinho will need both players in order to win silverware. As one of the world's best coaches, he will know this, which is why his decision to drop Mata and Luiz for the start of the season is probably part of a long-term ploy.

Get them angry, fired up to prove a point. Then reap the benefits.

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