Published On: Tue, Sep 12th, 2017

Mourinho plays down Champions League hopes

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LONDON: Jose Mourinho has played down Manchester United s chances of Champions League glory, saying English domestic fixture congestion will work against the three-time European champions.

The Premier League pacesetters are set to open their campaign against Swiss champions Basel at Old Trafford on Tuesday after qualifying for the competition by winning the Europa League.

Mourinho rested key players in Premier League matches towards the end of last season in order to save them for Europe, which he believed offered their best chance of Champions League qualification.

Real Madrid and Juventus, who contested last season s Champions League final, were also able to keep players fresh for Europe but still won their domestic leagues, while United finished sixth.

According to Mourinho, both Real and Juve enjoyed an easier domestic schedule, pointing to the lack of a winter break in England.

“The only thing I can say is that Real Madrid last year played the last month in La Liga with the second team,” he said. “They could do it. And they arrived in the Champions League final with a fresh team.–Agencies

 

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