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Jose Mourinho plays down Manchester United expectations ahead of Chelsea visit

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Let the build-up begin.  Call them mind games, if you will, as it tends to happen so often whenever Jose Mourinho talks to the media.

"We have a very difficult week, playing these two matches in the Premier League against two of the big candidates. This is not the week where we were expecting to close the distances to the top of the league."

"This is the week we have to keep contact with them because then we will arrive at the moment where we win three, four or five matches in a row and we will be there fighting with almost everybody for the title."

-Jose Mourinho; source: BBC 5 Live via Manchester United

Mourinho's Manchester United put in a famously Mourinho-esque performance last weekend at Anfield in the 0-0 draw against Liverpool, and much of the same will be expected on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.

Given their Europa League commitments against Fenerbahce on Thursday, Mourinho playing down expectations is as unsurprising as it is prudent.  United have won just one of the last five Premier League games (and just three of their last eight in all competitions).  Zlatan's goals have dried up after a hot start (one in his last seven) and Paul Pogba has yet to live up to his transfer fee — which, in fairness, is probably an impossible task.

All that bodes well for Chelsea and Conte's new strategeries, though we'd do well to remember our own foibles against other title challengers in Liverpool and Arsenal before getting too confident and too ahead of ourselves...