Redknapp: Champions League may ruin Chelsea title chances

Jamie Redknapp believes the Champions League distraction might just hand the title to Manchester City.

The Premier League is shaping up to have its most inclusive title race for years - as Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal will all fancy their chances of lifting the trophy at the end of the season.

The four-horse race looks set to go on until the final day of the campaign - although obviously some teams will fall at various hurdles.

But Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp does not believe that will be Chelsea.

The former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has been speaking about the title race in his Sky Sports column today - and said that he ‘laughs’ when he hears Jose Mourinho claim his Chelsea side are not title contenders this season.

But he did mention one thing that might just hand the advantage to Manchester City in the run-in - the Champions League:

“Mourinho is the master at presenting his side as the underdog but his team are the ones to beat at the moment. They're top of the table and, although Manchester City, who are six points back, have two games in hand, you'd rather have the points in the bag.

One thing which may turn it around is if City go out of the Champions League to Barcelona and Chelsea progress. That will bring added pressures to the Chelsea squad but for now they are so well placed and have good players in good form.”

We have seen in recent weeks how well a team can play without any outside distractions - step up Liverpool.

And with City 2-0 down from the first leg against Barcelona - they face an almost impossible challenge of overturning the deficit in the second leg at the Nou Camp.

Chelsea hold a far more favourable position against Galatasaray - level at 1-1 with a return leg at Stamford Bridge ahead of them.

With the Champions League distraction out of the way City could, like Liverpool, plunge all their focus into the Premier League - with the FA Cup however still on the cards.

Everyone knows it stung Mourinho not to win the CL whilst Chelsea boss - and that he is determined to win the competition for a third time with a third different team.

If it comes down to choosing - Jose will go with Europe, something Manuel Pellegrini might not have to worry about for long.

So their Champions League hopes may just come at the detriment of their Premier League chances.

image: © willpalmer

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