Sunderland v Chelsea: Jose Mourinho claims the next two months could decide who competes for the Premier League title

Mourinho feels that the run of games through December and January will be crucial in the race for the title, and confirms that neither David Luiz or Oscar will feature against the Black Cats

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that the next two months could decide which teams go on to fight for the Premier League title and who will fall by the wayside.

Mourinho takes his side to Sunderland tomorrow as the Blues look to build on their impressive second half performance in the 3-1 win over Southampton on Sunday, although the Portuguese has confirmed that he remains without David Luiz and Oscar through injury.

He did however confirm that out-of-favour left-back Ashley Cole will start either the midweek match or next week’s final Champions League group game against Steuau Bucharest, having spoken of the need to rotate his starting line-up following the defeat to Basle last week.

“David Luiz is not back in training yet, he's still with the medical department. I hope to have him back soon so I can rotate,” said Mourinho.

“Ashley Cole will start one of these next two games, or against Steaua. Professionally he's a team player so he deserves to play."

Samuel Eto'o could play some part in the fixture after recovering from a groin injury, although the impressive partnership between Fernando Torres and Demba Ba last time out could keep the Cameroonian striker out of the team.

“There is a lot to play for in December and January, we will see if one of the top six opens a real gap (at the top)," Mourinho continued.

“We can't speak about favourites but all the six teams are title contenders.

“In my career I've only finished first and second and if I'm not there I don't feel comfortable.

“There is still a lot of progress to be made, we need to make the pressure of fighting for the title natural.”

Chesea sit second in the Premier League table, four points behind London rivals Arsenal, and Mourinho knows that a win tomorrow could close that gap to just one point should the Gunners slip-up as they host Hull on Wednesday evening.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
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'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect