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Mourinho claims he knows Lampard’s team ahead of Spurs’ crucial clash with Chelsea

After his former midfielder got the better of him in December’s reverse fixture, Mourinho is eager to make amends and believes he has a head start

Jose Mourinho says he already knows the team Frank Lampard is going to put out when Chelsea host Tottenham in Saturday’s lunchtime Premier League game.

While he refused to reveal the source of his inside knowledge, Mourinho seemed keen to engage in some mind games with his former midfielder.

Chelsea got the better of Spurs earlier in the season after switching to a back three, and Mourinho is sure Lampard will stick to the same system despite not using it consistently

“I was told they were back to a back five which is what they normally do when their results are not the best,” he told reporters, though he wouldn’t be drawn on where his information came from.

“The same way you have a lot of news and you don’t tell the sources,” he said.

Chelsea will start the day in fourth, just one place and one point ahead of Mourinho’s Spurs.

Tenth-placed Arsenal are only six points behind Spurs, illustrating the congested nature of the top half of the table.

Fifth would be enough for Champions League qualification if Manchester City’s UEFA ban is upheld but, true to form, Mourinho was keen to place his side among the outsiders for continental football.

“At the moment, Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, Sheffield United, Wolverhampton, Everton – we are the underdogs,” he said.

“We have ambitions to go there, but we are one, two, three points behind Chelsea. Chelsea have an advantage over all of us. That is obvious. It is not a big advantage, but it is an advantage.

“Chelsea at the moment are favourites for fourth position considering Leicester has nine or 10 points more at this stage of the season. But of course, Chelsea are favourites for fourth at this moment.”

Mourinho may well be expecting a colourful reception from the Chelsea fans, but he says he harbours no ill will toward the Blues and feels the respect is mutual.

“That’s football. One thing is the way I am treated in the stadium, another is the way I’m treated on the street,” he said.

“On the street, every time I am approached by fans from all different clubs – not just the clubs where I’ve been working before, even clubs that I have no connection with – Palace, West Ham.

“Every time I am approached on the street in London, I am approached with care, respect, great feelings and the Chelsea fans they find me in the street – full of respect.”

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