Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes the pressure is on Manchester City to lead the way in this season's English Premier League title race. Mourinho thinks that there are six contenders to win the championship, but he has warned Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur that they could find themselves cut adrift if they allow the gap to leaders Arsenal to grow.
And while the Portuguese insists there are no clear favourites, he feels that the strength of City's squad gives Manuel Pellegrini's side an advantage.
"I keep saying the same. I don't think we can speak about favourites but we can say that one team is top of the league and some are a little bit far, but I keep thinking that all six teams are title contenders," he said. "But I keep saying that the team with more responsibilities to win it because their squad is quite unique is Manchester City."
Chelsea sit four points behind Arsenal in second place and two points above third-place City ahead of the mid-week round of fixtures, which sees Mourinho's side visit second-bottom Sunderland on Wednesday. United and Tottenham, however, are well off the pace, trailing Arsenal by nine and ten points respectively, and Mourinho feels that they are already in danger of slipping out of contention.
"United are nine points behind Arsenal. It's a gap. Nine points is a gap, Tottenham ten. That's a gap. It's not a gap for us," he said. "For us, we are speaking about four points. That's not a gap. It's something that, in two matches, is over. But nine or ten points is a gap. They know that if the next step is to reduce from ten to seven, nine to six, it's to go again into the race. But if the next move is from ten to 13, or nine to 12, it becomes hard.
"In this moment, some teams like Arsenal are a lot more comfortable because they can slide one match and nothing happens to them. Some other teams know the next night can be crucial. But the six teams are very equal in their potential."
The former Real Madrid manager, who also includes Liverpool among the title contenders, added: "But I keep saying: there's a lot to play in December. At the beginning of January we can have a look and say if all six are with short distances, or if someone has opened up a real gap. At this moment until the end of the year, it's a moment not to decide but to clarify a bit the situation."