Jose Mourinho has backed Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City to challenge for the Premier League title and joked that even City’s B team could compete for the trophy.
Liverpool pushed City to the final weekend last term but, in the end, finished runners-up behind Pep Guardiola’s side despite amassing 97 points across a magnificent campaign.
While Spurs ended the season 27 points behind City down in fourth, Mourinho is confident the north London club will be in the title race this time around after a strong summer transfer window.
The Portuguese, though, believes United, Chelsea and Arsenal lack the firepower to be challenging at the business end of the season.
Asked which teams will be in the title race ahead of United’s clash with Chelsea at Old Trafford, Mourinho told Sky Sports: ‘Four: Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool and… Man City’s B team.
‘When I looked at the bench yesterday, there were some images of the bench, and the players that were not even involved, I think even their B team could fight for the title.
‘Independent of what happens today even if one of the teams plays magnificently and has a fantastic result, I don’t believe that they are going to be in the title race.
‘It’s also a little bit difficult for me, in spite of some really good players, I don’t think Arsenal will be in a title race. But I think Tottenham has to join it.’
Mourinho is hopeful that Chelsea can enjoy some success this season under new manager Frank Lampard despite feeling the effects of their two-window transfer ban.
‘I want to say the obvious thing. We would love Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal to be at that level. Football is unpredictable,’ he added.
‘I think we all agree we are speaking about a team that won everything in England and we are speaking about the European champions and the runners up.
‘And then we are speaking about United who finished sixth. And Arsenal finished fifth and playing Europa League too.
‘Chelsea with this ban, which is not dramatic, because if someone could answer that ban it’s Chelsea.
‘If that ban happens to one of the other clubs, it would be much more difficult. I hope something great happens with them.’