Jose Mourinho has been playing mind games his entire managerial career and with a Champions League quarter-final tie against Paris Saint-Germain looming large, he is not going to change.
Chelsea will travel to France for the first leg of the tie against PSG next Wednesday before hosting the Ligue 1 champions at Stamford Bridge in London the following week.
The two-legged encounter promises to be very close and it is indeed very difficult to call on who between the two sides will progress to the semi-finals. The fact that the Blues will be away for the first leg gives them a slight advantage, but Laurent Blanc’s team have an exceptionally talented squad that is as good in defence as it is in attack.
PSG will also be able to rest some key players for their league game against Nice on Friday as they are 10 points clear at the top of the table, while Chelsea are locked in a four-way battle for the Premier League title.
And that is why Mourinho claims that the Parisian giants have a “small advantage” over them, and that they are the favourites to progress to the last four.
"PSG are a team with very good players,” the Portuguese told RMC. “PSG are already a champion and this is an important advantage. They already think about Chelsea and not Nice.
"For us, it is different in the Premier League. All matches are a final for us. Against Crystal Palace (on Saturday) it will be a final.
"PSG are the favourites thanks to this small advantage. They have no experience in the Champions League but have quality players. They have an outstanding attack and this is very important.”
But then again, Mourinho would say that. The 51-year-old has been playing down his side’s chances of winning the Premier League all season, despite the fact that they are actually a point clear at the top at the moment.
That is how Mourinho plays his mind games, and he is doing something similar in Europe. Yet, he is not entirely downbeat about his side’s chances and does believe that his club’s experience in the Champions League will serve them good against PSG.
"But the history of Chelsea in the Champions League can help us,” he said. “We are not under pressure. This scenario does not bother me, it suits me. I do not want to be misinterpreted and people say I'm arrogant. It will be 50-50."
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