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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 07:46 GMT 08:46 UK
Pressure on Reds, says Mourinho
Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez
Mourinho feels Benitez will be expected to deliver this season
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez will be under increased pressure to win the Premier League title next season.

The Reds have spent around 40m on the likes of Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel to strengthen their squad this summer.

And Mourinho said: "The pressure is a bit higher on Liverpool this time.

"Other years they could say 'these guys have spent a lot so they have to win' but now they have to talk differently. They have high expectations."

It is 17 years since Liverpool won the top flight and Mourinho believes a title challenge by the Reds is long overdue.

"In the last three years it has been Chelsea and Manchester United in the league and it has been a long time since Liverpool won the title - so they really want it," he explained.


"I heard something earlier this summer - Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and John Arne Riise saying it has to be this season. That's normal, and positive. I cannot complain about that. Everybody wants to achieve it.

"We want it too, no problem. But it's been four years with Benitez and they want the Premiership. They don't hide it - Benitez, the players, they all speak about winning the title.

"I think winning nothing last season was frustrating for them, but they've got a good squad and good players, so they'll be better."

Mourinho has been outspoken about his side's title rivals in the past but promised this week to me more "mellow" this season.

He believes Tottenham and Arsenal are the other contenders for United's crown but remains confident of Chelsea's chances.

"It's just a personal opinion," the former Porto boss said.

""But Tottenham have more players in the England squad than anybody else. They're a very good group of players.

"They've spent money and kept all the important players, even Dimitar Berbatov, who everyone thought would leave. And they will be without pressure, so they should be there, creating a difficult situation for us.

They are contenders for the title, of course, but I still believe Chelsea have the best players in the world

Jose Mourinho on Man Utd

"It is the same with Arsenal. There is no Thierry Henry but they were almost without him last season, too, and they have very, very good young players who they can mix with their important experienced players.

"Not many people expect them to do it, and that could be in their favour. They will see what happens but I think, in the back of their minds, they will believe.

"Manchester United have kept the same first team, basically, and have more options now with Nani, Anderson and Owen Hargreaves. If Carlos Tevez goes there, he's another good player for them. They've done their work well this summer.

"They had money to spend, and they spent it.

"I know when Chelsea were spending lots of money everybody was jumping. I don't jump because other people spend. They can do what they want with their money.

"They are contenders for the title, of course, but I still believe Chelsea have the best players in the world."


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