Tottenham v Manchester City: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims he wants 'City to win' at White Hart Lane

Victory for the away side would help Chelsea open up a gap between themselves and Spurs

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho favours a Manchester City win at Tottenham on Wednesday in a result which he believes would make his own team almost certainties for Champions League qualification this season.

Should Chelsea beat their own opponents West Ham at Stamford Bridge and City win at White Hart Lane, Mourinho's third-placed squad will be 10 points clear of Spurs, who are challenging Liverpool, Everton and Manchester United in the battle to compete in Europe's elite competition next term.

Chelsea have narrowly clung on to their Champions League status in recent seasons, finishing sixth in the Premier League in 2012 and gaining a reprieve by winning the European Cup before a year later being certain of their qualification only after a final-day victory over Everton.

Even though Chelsea's next opponents are City, on February 3, Mourinho would like Manuel Pellegrini's team to prevail at Spurs.

"I prefer them to win, because if they win and if we win, we open a gap to Tottenham," Mourinho said.

"If we have a gap of 10 to Tottenham, 12 to United, you have a safe spot in the Champions League.

"If you can have a safe spot by February and play the rest of the season without that pressure, it would be fantastic for us."

Champions League qualification is Mourinho's primary target on his return to Stamford Bridge after again playing down his side's title prospects.

Premier League Wednesday - LIVE! Follow all of the news and updates HERE

"That's an objective I don't want to fail," he added.

"We cannot fail, because as a club we need that and as a team we need that too, because we want to play Champions League.

"As a team it's very important for the evolution of the team, as a club it's very important for financial reasons, for prestigious reasons.

"The top four, if possible the top three, is the big, big, big objective and it's a difficult objective.

"If everybody is there, you go to the end of the season under big pressure, so for us it will be better for City to win."

Put to him that he was beginning to sound like Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has spoken of the importance of Champions League qualification amid his side's near nine-year run without a trophy, Mourinho's response was curt.

He added: "It's not a trophy. It's a moment of the evolution of this team. Next season I will be speaking differently."

Mourinho and Wenger have had a to-and-fro argument over fixtures of late, with the Portuguese insisting Arsenal always have the better deal.

It is something Mourinho believes was enforced when the March fixture schedule showed Chelsea playing Arsenal on Saturday, March 22 at the end of a fallow midweek for the Gunners, while the Blues will have met Galatasaray in the Champions League.

Nevertheless, Mourinho, who favoured a Sunday match with the Gunners, welcomed the prospect of a contract extension for Wenger at the Emirates Stadium.

Mourinho, who has spoken of his desire to emulate Wenger's longevity, added: "It's fantastic to give that stability, that example. Maybe others follow, because I think it's a good thing. I am happy for him."

Mourinho believes long-term success for Chelsea is dependent on players such as Eden Hazard, who recently spoke of his desire to be one of the world's best players alongside Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi of Barcelona.

"If he wants to be a great, great player and arrive where Cristiano and Messi arrive, he has space to go because he's 23," Mourinho said.

"It's a great ambition for him. What I feel now with him is responsibility in every aspect.

"Against Man United I saw him make a fantastic tackle inside of our box, but at the same time against Stoke he was trying to kill the game, not waiting for things to happen but trying to make things happen.

"The kid is going in a fantastic direction."

The Ballon d'Or is the trophy FIFA award to the world's best player, but it is one Mourinho does not value, even if Hazard covets it.

Mourinho said: "Without an entourage and politics, he doesn't get the gold ball."

Last summer Mourinho tried to team Hazard up with Wayne Rooney at Chelsea and had two bids for the England man rejected by Manchester United, with whom the striker appears close to signing a new deal.

Asked about Rooney, Mourinho said: "I feel nothing. I don't care. I'm happy for him if he gets a fantastic deal."

PA

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tv
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

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home