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European qualification, honours 2016-17

Europe
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Mourinho: Arsenal right in title mix

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has suggested his London rivals Arsenal should be in the mix to land trophies this season after spending the last few years building a team to compete with the game's elite.

Arsene Wenger's Gunners have been viewed as surprise title challengers by many observers this season, yet Mourinho offers an alternative view as he claims they are the one Premier League contenders benefitting from years of experience and stability.

"Arsenal have spent many, many years working together," he is quoted in the Daily Mail. "Many, many years making these players grow up and achieve this maturity level.

"Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs, they are not kids any more. They were kids, but in this moment they are mature players.

"The manager with this group of players, four, five or six years working with these players and then adding fantastic players like Mezut Ozil, Santi Cazorla or Per Mertesacker to the team, these last pieces of experiences. I think they are very good team."

Mourinho went on to reiterate his belief that Liverpool's lack of Champions League games gives them a huge advantage in the push for the Premier League title, as the Blues boss dismissed his latest statements as another round in his psychological warfare with rival managers.

"When I say we're not the top candidate everyone thinks 'here he is again, with what you like to call the mind games, but this is just my feeling," he added.

"The league is amazing, it is fun, but Liverpool have a big advantage because of the fact they don't play in the Champions League.

"There is no easy run-in for anyone. Every team needs points for their objective -- some for relegation, some for Champions League football and some are trying to be champions. It's going to be hard for everybody."

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