The final 10 league games of the season for Chelsea begin today with the visit of Tottenham to Stamford Bridge.
The league table shows the Blues are out in front when measured by points already in the bag and more than one person has pointed out that historically, teams managed by Jose Mourinho throughout his career haven’t let first place slip when leading at this stage of a season.
Mourinho however points out comparisons between then and now should be made carefully.
‘I am not top of the league, that is the problem,’ he said.
‘I am top of the league the day I have played the same number of matches as all the other teams and I have one more point than all the other teams. If that day arrives I can say I am top of the league, and we have six matches to play, or five or four, but until that moment, other teams have played less matches than us.
‘They have matches in hand and they can win and they can be top of the league, which is the specific case with Man City. If they win the games they have in hand they are top of the league.’
The Chelsea manager has consistently stated that this season’s challenge is simply to try to win the next game and then take stock at the end of the campaign. Today’s match is the second home game in a row against a top-six side following the defeat of Everton, with Arsenal to come in our next league outing at the Bridge.
For the first time since last November, players are in action this weekend off the back of international fixtures.
‘The lack of preparation is obvious and lots of players in the national teams are obvious too,’ said Mourinho.
‘And players that went to the national teams, some come back with problems also.
‘Mikel is injured from the national team, David Luiz is injured from the national team. Hazard has a little thing but he is ready to play, plus Ashley Cole came back perfect from the national team and he got his injury on Thursday in training.
‘Then there is the quality of the opponent plus the fact that Tottenham had situations the opposite of us,’ he continued.
‘For example Kyle Walker was not ready to play Wednesday but is ready to play Saturday. All of these things accumulate to really make the game very difficult. The opponent is very good but we want to try to win, so let’s go for it.’