Mourinho plays down Champions League chances

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Football News

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has played down the club's chances of winning the Champions League this season.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night's final group game at home to Steaua Bucharest, he said: "We are not considered one of the favourites to win.

"The favourites in my opinion are Bayern Munich because they are the current winners and have the same players, new manager and unbelievable stability.

"Barcelona, Real Madrid too -  these teams are clearly in front. But any one in the last eight can win. It is an interesting competition as always."

Chelsea have already qualified as group winners ahead of their clash at Stamford Bridge against the Romanian outfit, and the Portuguese manager says he will rest at least three players.

"I don't want to call it rotation because rotate comes with an idea that the team is weak. That is not the case," he said.

"I won't play the same team as the last match because some players need a little rest. We've an important game [against Crystal Palace] on Saturday and a League Cup quarter-final tie on Tuesday [against Sunderland]."

Mourinho hasn't exactly enjoyed the rebirth at Chelsea that he would have liked, with his side currently five points off the pace in the Premier League following a 3-2 defeat away to Stoke at the weekend.

He has also had to make some tough decisions, most notably dropping England defender Ashley Cole, but he says the left-back will start tomorrow night.

Mourinho said: "I know him well, it is easy to feel that he is not happy, not comfortable with the situation, but the way he trains is super professional, as always.

"When he is on the bench, I can feel his will to win, even if he is not the pitch. He is a fantastic guy, full from respect from me and the players and yes he starts tomorrow."

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