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Mar 28, 2014

Mourinho: Chelsea have hardest run-in

LONDON -- Jose Mourinho says he is not surprised by Liverpool’s sensational progress in this title race, because Brendan Rodgers’ side have had the “perfect” conditions to take advantage.

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The Chelsea manager also pointed to participation in European football as the reason why his side’s run-in remains the most difficult, despite a sequence against notionally lesser sides.

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Mourinho admits that delivering Chelsea a first Premier League title in four years will be a tough order

“When you have six days a week to prepare a match, six days a week to train, maybe twice a day, you have conditions to improve that nobody else has,” Mourinho said of Liverpool.

“At the same time, players have no accumulation of fatigue. You can clearly see some of their players are not paying the consequences of over-time and accumulation.

"You see freshness, you see players with a certain age they don’t need to rest matches because they rest during the week, so the season for them is a perfect season to do what they are doing.”

Mourinho meanwhile insists that Chelsea themselves have a less than perfect run-in, due to the complications of continental football. Other than that, six of their seven remaining fixtures come against teams currently in the bottom half of the table.

“[It’s] the most difficult, because we play Champions League, they [Liverpool and City] don’t,” Mourinho said. “We have to play matches with two or three days in between, we have to change our focus from the Premier League to the Champions League, go back to the Premier League, go back to the Champions League, play two big matches against Paris [Saint-Germain].

"Liverpool, they keep going in their perfect season... we have more matches than them, we have to play Champions League. We have no time to prepare matches like they have. I think it’s a big advantage; an advantage that City has just now, an advantage Liverpool has since the beginning of season.”

Meanwhile, Mourinho has refused to rule Arsenal out of the title race despite last week’s 6-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

“Mathematically, no. Mathematically, it’s open for them. It’s more difficult because they are a few points behind the other three teams but obviously it's possible,” he added.

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