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Jose Mourinho says Chelsea can have no excuses if they fail to mount a strong Premier League title defence this season.

The Manchester United boss believes the defending champions should still be considered favourites for the title this season, despite suffering a 3-2 opening day home loss to Burnley, an ongoing rift with Diego Costa, and the sale of midfielder Nemanja Matic to United.

Mourinho appears to have his own team well placed for a title tilt following last weekend’s 4-0 thrashing of West Ham, but has scoffed at the suggestion United are in a more stable position than their rivals.

“If they have problems the problems are going to finish in a couple of weeks because, in a couple of weeks, the market is closed and they don’t have problems anymore,” Mourinho said.

“If they have – and I don’t know if they have – in a couple of weeks the problems are over.

“They have very good teams, very good players and I don’t see any reason for them not to be fighting for the title.

“When people say, for example, Chelsea lost an important midfield player, you know if you lose one but you buy (Tiemoue) Bakayoko and (Danny) Drinkwater (who has been linked with a move from Leicester to Stamford Bridge) for example, what’s the problem?

“The problem is when you sell and you don’t buy. But when you sell and you keep buying, what’s the problem?

“You are probably even stronger, so I think every top team in the Premier League is strong enough to be fighting for everything.

“And when everybody is also in Europe – five in the Champions League and then two in the Europa League – you have the top seven teams playing for everything and all of them are strong.”

And, ahead of Saturday’s Sky Live trip to Swansea, Mourinho suggested Chelsea remain title favourites.

“For me the favourite is the champion – always,” said the United boss.

“Because, for some reason was the champion.

“It doesn’t mean you are going to win it but I think it is the stamp that you have when you are champion, it is that the next season you are the favourite.”



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