JOSE MOURINHO thinks Chelsea and Liverpool could struggle this season with the added strain of European football.
Manchester United had a gruelling schedule last season, playing an additional 15 games due to their involvement in the Europa League.
Jose Mourinho bemoaned the added strain on his players as they limped towards a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
However, this season Chelsea and Liverpool will also be competing in the Champions League, adding to their weekly schedule of games.
And Mourinho thinks this will level the playing field this term, allowing the Red Devils to compete much better domestically.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
And Mourinho believes Chelsea will not find their title defence so easy this season with the added strain of midweek European games.
“I don’t want to say it was ‘key’ because if I say that, I don’t want to take away from the credit they [Chelsea] deserve,” he added.
“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.”