Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says Chelsea are favourites for Premier League top four
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By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 22/02/20 3:13pm
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has heaped pressure on former club Chelsea by insisting they remain favourites to finish fourth in the Premier League.
The top-flight form table since Mourinho took over puts Spurs third above his former club, and they sit just one point behind them in fifth as they prepare to travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
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With Manchester City facing a two-year Champions League ban pending appeal, fifth place will also secure qualification for next season - but Mourinho is not taking that for granted.
"At this moment, Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, Sheffield United, Wolverhampton, Everton - we are the underdogs," he said.
"We have ambitions to be there but we are one, two, three points behind Chelsea, so they have an advantage to all of us. That's obvious. It's not a big advantage but it is an advantage.
"Chelsea in this moment is favourite for the fourth position, considering Leicester has nine points more at this stage of the season."
Mourinho heads back to the Bridge for the first time with Tottenham - a club he once said he could not manage out of respect for Chelsea fans - having been jeered on his return with Manchester United in 2017.
The Portuguese held up three fingers to the crowd to mark his titles while in charge in west London, but he insists the Chelsea hierarchy still respect him after overseeing one of the most illustrious periods in their history.
"I went back there with United and I've been back with Sky for Chelsea versus Liverpool. It was very normal," he said.
"I don't go there [to the directors box] but I know that if I want to go there, I will just pick up the phone and call somebody at the club, and I will be treated the way I deserve and the way the club respects me, and people like me that belongs to the past.
"I don't have one single problem with the club. Not at all. If I want to go Chelsea-Bayern Munich next week they are not going to give me the seat with the Bayern fans. I am treated properly by the club.
"One thing is the way I am treated in the stadium, another thing is the way I am treated on the street - and every time on the street I am approached by fans from all the clubs, I am approached with care, with respect, with great feelings. And with the Chelsea fans that find me in the street, [they are] full of respect.
"In the football stadium is a completely different environment, because people get emotional, they just want to win, and people look to the opposition as, let's say, the sports enemy, because to say enemy is too strong. And for me, [it's] no problem."