'Stronger' Chelsea are still title favourites, claims Mourinho
Getty Images The Special One dismissed claims from Stamford Bridge that they would not repeat last year's title win, and denies the loss of Matic will hurt them
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that not only are Chelsea favourites to retain their Premier League title, but that the Blues are even stronger than last season.
Antonio Conte has endured a difficult post-season at Stamford Bridge, seeing Nemanja Matic leave for United while his own transfer targets such as Romelu Lukaku have gone elsewhere.
A spate of injuries has moreover left Chelsea down to the bare bones, lead ing Conte himself to admit retaining the league would be a tough ask.
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Mourinho dismissed suggestions the Blues were weaker, however, and stated they should be the team to beat in 2017-18.
âWhen people say, for example, Chelsea lost an important midfield player, if you lose one but you buy Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater, for example, whatâs the problem?" the manager said in Friday's press conference, when asked about Chelsea losing Matic.
âThe problem is when you sell and you donât buy. When you sell and you keep buying, whatâs the problem?
âYouâre probably even stronger [than last season], so I think every top team in the Premier League is strong enough, is potentially strong enough, with the financial situation to be fighting for everything.
âAnd when everybody is also in Europe â" five in the Champions League and then two in the Europa League, you have the top seven teams playing for everything and all of them are strong."
The Special One went to note that he always backed the reigning holder to repeat their achievement, and that Chelsea should be no different.
âFor me, the favourite is the champion â" always. It is for some reason they were the champions," he said.
âIt doesnât mean youâre going to win it. I just think itâs the stamp you have when youâre champions â" that the next season youâre the favourite.âArticle continues below
Mou rinho and United take on Swansea on the second weekend of the Premier League this Saturday, while Chelsea travel to White Hart Lane to meet Tottenham the following day.Source: Google News