Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said the title race is still between six teams but has said that there is a gap for Manchester United and Tottenham to close to Arsenal, who are currently nine and ten points behind the league leaders respectively.
Speaking ahead of his side’s trip to Sunderland tomorrow night, Mourinho said: ‘I think in this moment Spurs and United they know that if they next step is to reduce from ten to seven from nine to six they go in to the race but if it’s from ten to 13 and nine to 12 it becomes hard.’
Along with Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, Mourinho has said they will end up being the six contenders for the title.
‘The six teams are very, very equal in their potential, different teams in the way they play in the profile of the team. Other teams are very well, Everton, Southampton and Newcastle but at the end of the day these are the six contenders.’
Mourinho has said that Samuel Eto’o could play in tomorrow’s clash at the Stadium of Light having recovered earlier than expected from a hamstring problem but David Luiz isn’t training with the first team and doesn’t really know when he will be available.
The Chelsea boss also slapped down claims from Romelu Lukaku that he could stay at Everton beyond his loan deal if they qualify for the Champions League. Mourinho said he had not contact the Belgian striker and said: ‘Maybe there is a new rule in football that when the season is finished every player is free to decide his future.’
He also said that Chelsea are unlikely to do any business in the transfer market in January, and has said that Ashley Cole will play in one of the next three games after playing second fiddle to Cesar Azpilicueta, and described the England left-back as a professional who deserves to play.
‘Ashley Cole will start one of the next two matches, either Sunderland or Stoke, if not then Steaua. Sooner or later I have to change so Ashley Cole will play soon.’
On tomorrow’s opponents, Sunderland, Mourinho said: ‘I think they are better than the points they have, I think the quality of the players they have are not comparable with some of the teams in that part of the table but at the moment one point doesn’t make that much difference. They need a couple or three victories to get out of a dangerous area.
‘I think they have a positive approach because they need to win matches and I think Gustavo’s style is to play good football.’
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