One of the masters of mental trickery during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho has, recently, engaged the press in a number of surprising comments: from claiming that he would prefer Premier League title challengers Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur, to praising Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger - the subject of his infamous voyeur comment, Mourinho has now opined that Manchester City should not only be favourites to beat his side on Monday, February 3, but to do so by even a six goal winning margin.
'Are they favourites? Yes,' said Mourinho, as quoted by Four Four Two, in the build-up to Chelsea's trip to the Etihad Stadium, an arena where City are yet to experience a draw in the league, let alone a loss.
City have been awesome in front of their home fans, sweeping aside elite-level opponents as if they were non-League teams, including a 6-3 trumping of Arsenal, a 6-0 rout over Tottenham Hotspur and a 4-1 win over Liverpool.
Chelsea are one of the few teams to take points of Manuel Pellegrini's side as they actually defeated City in October, a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge. However, City have improved markedly since, possess devastating strikers of the football such as Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo (both injured) and Yaya Toure.
Regardless of past experiences and injuries, Mourinho - if his latest comments are to be believed - could be mentally readying himself for watching on from the dugout as City once again destroy a high calibre team.
'Are they even favourites to score again four, five, six goals? Yes. But the result [at the moment, pre-match] is 0-0 and we go there to compete and to play.'
image: © Ronnie Macdonald