Former manager Andre Villas-Boas backs Chelsea to win Premier League next season

It is expected that Jose Mourinho will again be in charge at Stamford Bridge

Andre Villas-Boas today tipped Chelsea to win the Premier League next year and admitted his Tottenham squad may fall behind their rivals unless they strengthen their squad.

Chelsea, where Villas-Boas was in charge for nine months last season, created history this week by becoming the first club to hold the Champions League and Europa League simultaneously.

Shortly after defeating Benfica 2-1, Rafael Benitez claimed that his successor, widely expected to be Jose Mourinho, will have £100million to spend in the summer.

The Blues already have the likes of Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, whom Spurs were interested in last season, while both Manchester clubs face uncertain futures because of the departures of Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini.

Villas-Boas thinks therefore that Chelsea, under the experienced leadership of Mourinho, would be favourites to win the Barclays Premier League.

"I think Chelsea next season will absolutely be the team to beat, bearing in mind the manager change and the manager that we expect to come," the Tottenham boss told a press conference.

"Plus they will be strengthening an already very good squad.

"I think they will be the favourites."

Unlike Benitez, Villas-Boas does not have the comfort of going in to Sunday's final round of matches knowing that Champions League qualification has been secured.

Indeed, only if Spurs beat Sunderland and Arsenal drop points at Newcastle will Villas-Boas be managing in the Champions League next season.

If Spurs finish fifth, Villas-Boas will have failed to deliver the Champions League qualification target set for him by Daniel Levy last summer.

The former Porto coach has done well to cope without Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric and Ledley King, though, and should his team win on Sunday they will end the season with 72 points - a record for the club in the Premier League era.

That total would have been enough to finish second on three occasions over the last 20 years and only once has a team finished fourth in the Premier League with more than 72 points.

The raising of the bar for top-four qualification means Spurs must strengthen their squad this summer, according to Villas-Boas.

He said: "I think what it represents, if we don't achieve it, is one more sign that you have to push up to get closer to that group.

"Whenever that group is competing for titles, the reference of points will be higher and you have to improve and you have to get more points the next time.

"Our step at the moment is to be into the Champions League, probably not title contenders but we hope to be competitive next season if we manage to do things properly in the summer.

"You have to strengthen for next season to get a higher tally of points."

Villas-Boas pored over the reasons behind his team's failure to hold on to their top-four place today.

Injuries to key players like Sandro, Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto were cited while Villas-Boas also lamented points lost at home to teams like Wigan and Fulham.

Should his team finish underneath Arsenal for the 18th season in a row, he does not think it will have a big impact on Tottenham's ability to attract top players this summer, however.

"I'm not sure it's that key," he said. "Tottenham has a great tradition in football, it has conditions that other clubs don't have and great facilities.

"And I think we have a group of players that attract other players to come here."

Villas-Boas refused to rule out a move for Barcelona striker David Villa, the latest player to be linked with the north London club.

"He's one of the world's best strikers," Villas-Boas said.

"Speculation is growing here (about transfers in general), but at the moment we are focused on trying to get the fourth spot."

Tottenham's main goal this summer is to hold on to 25-goal forward Gareth Bale.

Spurs have a history of rewarding their top performers with new contracts, but Villas-Boas is unsure whether Bale is close to signing new terms, as has been reported recently.

"I'm not sure, our interest is for the player to continue here and I've made that very clear," he said.

"I have said this numerous times. We are pretty confident we will be able to keep him."

PA

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015