Arsenal are favourites, claims Jose Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho has claimed that Arsenal's week-long rest ahead of their trip to the Emirates on Monday has gifted the Gunners the upper hand.

Chelsea face a tough mid-week trip to Sunderland in the quarter final of the Capital One Cup  on Tuesday night having knocked out Arsenal in the last round.

Their exit from the competition has gifted Arsene Wenger's men with a nine day rest period following their 6-3 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.

The Blues would leap above Arsenal if they beat them in the tie but Mourinho claims their extended rest period has given them the advantage.

He told reporters: "To play a game in the same week you play the second against the first is a strange week, especially because Arsenal do not having this game.

"It’s our fault. I can guess that they are having a couple of days off. I can guess they are going to prepare for the game calmly, tactically they be very well prepared.

"We have to travel, we have to play, we have to come back. But it’s the quarter-final. When you are in the quarter-final, you smell the final. We are going to try."

It's typical mind games from the Special One, who knows he has had the edge over Wenger in past, having never been beaten by the Frenchman in his first spell at Chelsea.

Arsenal have been granted the long rest after a heavy week that saw them play Everton, Napoli and Manchester City in the space of six days.

Chelsea too are heading in to a congested Christmas fixture list but goalkeeper Petr Cech expects his side the handle the pressure better than Arsenal, who lost two and drew one of their three crucial fixtures.

"We will have a very big schedule and it is important to go through this period with as many points as you can get because the amount of games the top teams will play in the new year can be decisive as well," Cech told reporters.

"We are a team who in the last ten years have been playing with this busy schedule all the time. So we are used to it.

"That is important as well because you have to know how to play games every third day and for the teams who are not used to that is more tricky.

"For us it is another month in the year when we know what to expect."

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