Jose reckons rivals Chelsea and Liverpool could struggle to compete for the title next season because they are back in Europe.

The Manchester United boss believes the title race will be more balanced than last season because the Blues and Reds have to cope without the advantage of not being in Europe.

Mourinho believes United can improve on their sixth-placed finish last time out and finish top of the pile. But with all of last season’s top seven facing European commitments this time round, Mourinho believes this will have an affect on the race to see who is crowned champions.

He said: “There is one thing, this season is going be a little more balanced because of the fact the top six are all in European competitions. “Not like last season, when Chelsea and Liverpool played all season one match per week, with all the others playing in Europeans competitions – especially us, playing in Europa League. “Next season, six teams, and also Everton, are going to play in Europe and that is going to create a new situation for Chelsea and Liverpool.”

Mourinho reckons the Blues had a big advantage last season because of their lesser workload. He added: “I don’t want to say it was ‘key’ because if I say that, I don’t want to take credit from the credit that they (Chelsea) deserve. “But obviously, to play one match per week and one, two or three days off during the week, have no injuries or no accumulation, the same with Liverpool, I think obviously it helps. “Now they are going to face a different situation, but with the squad they have and the players they are signing, I think they are going to cope with it.”

Mourinho enjoyed major success in his second seasons at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan – winning either a domestic title or the Champions League. Now he has backed himself to do the same with United – but admits there can be no guarantees. He added: “Can we win it? We can, but maybe we don’t.

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