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Mourinho Pegs Liverpool as CL Favorite
Reuters, April 24th, 2007 3:23PM

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Jose Mourinho is playing mind games again, after singling out Liverpool, Chelsea's Champions League semifinal opponent, as the favorite to win the title. "If you push me to give a favorite, then I think Liverpool should be favorite," Mourinho told reporters before Wednesday's first leg at Stamford Bridge. He cited a lack of rest for his Chelsea players in their pursuit of three trophies as the main reason, followed by key injuries to Michael Ballack, Arjen Robben and defender Ricardo Carvalho. Midfield engine Michael Essien will also be missing Wednesday night due to suspension, while striker Didier Drogba is one yellow card away from suspension. "We have a lot of players with two yellow cards. It would not surprise me if they chased Drogba for 90 minutes to see if he can get a yellow card," Mourinho said.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese manager downplayed Chelsea's chances of winning four major trophies in one season. "There are no miracles. In football it's not just legs it's the mind. You have to have a high level of concentration," Mourinho said. Later, in what was an obvious jibe directed at Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich over his squad's lack of depth:, he added: "Liverpool rest players. Steven Gerrard did not play the last game. Do you think Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are in the same condition to play against each other? I do not think it will be a fair fight," he added. Liverpool won, 2-0, at Anfield the last time these two teams played in February.

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