Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has reiterated that his side’s league position is fake with his side top of the table, but if Manchester City were to win their games in hand they would leapfrog the Blues and Liverpool into top spot.
The Blues bounced back from their 1-0 defeat at Villa Park by thumping Arsenal 6-0 at Stamford Bridge last weekend, but it was clear that Mourinho was still upset about the circumstances of the defeat to Villa, and suggested it is a defeat that could end up costing his side the Premier League title.
He has also said both Manchester City and Liverpool do have an advantage going into the closing stages of the season as Chelsea are still competing in the Champions League, and didn't write off Arsenal's chances of winning the title.
He said: "We have to play matches with two and three days in between. We have to change our focus from Premier League to Champions League and go back to Premier League.
"Liverpool keep going in their perfect season. We have to play Champions League. We have no time to prepare for matches like they have. I think it's a big advantage they have. It is still open for Arsenal. It is more difficult because they are a few points behind the other teams, but it is still mathematically possible."
The Chelsea manager commented on Liverpool’s season in particular, suggesting their lack of European competition this season has helped them mount a serious challenge for the title.
"When you have six days a week to prepare for a match and train maybe twice a day, you have the conditions to improve that nobody else has. You can see clearly that some of their players are not paying the consequences of overtime. You see freshness."
Mourinho has said that Marco Van Ginkel will continue his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury by trying to play 60 minutes for the under-21 side this evening. The Chelsea boss confirmed that Ashley Cole and Samuel Eto’o will be ruled out of this weekend’s visit to Selhurst Park where Mourinho anticipates a difficult game against Crystal Palace.
He said: “Our game against Palace at home was difficult and Pulis had only just arrived.
“Now they are even more of a Tony Pulis team. They are very direct, aggressive good at set-pieces. It will be difficult.”