Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has denied suggestions his team have a more favourable run-in to the season than title rivals Manchester City.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side are third in the Premier League, three points behind the Blues and with two matches in hand.
City face the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton in their final nine matches of the campaign but Mourinho insists they will be helped by the fact that unlike Chelsea they are not still involved in the Champions League.
He said: “We have the most difficult [run-in] because we play in the Champions League and they don’t.
“We have to play matches with two or three days in between and have to change our focus to the Champions League and back to the Premier League.
“We have to play in the Champions League and have no time to prepare for matches. I think it is a big advantage City now have and Liverpool have had it since the start of the season.”
Mourinho has consistently claimed that City’s games in hand mean his team should not be considered favourites for the title – a position he is sticking to.
He said: “We don’t lead the Premier League. I have said all along that the lead is fake. The situation only matters when the teams have played the same number of matches.
“We are on a good run, are in a good moment and are just enjoying the situation.”