With ten games left to play, this season’s most likely top four is starting to take shape. Manchester City will, of course, win the title. There hasn’t been any doubt on that front for quite some time now. Behind them, though, based form and remaining fixtures, Liverpool and Tottenham look all but certain to finish in the top four.
And, thanks to their victory over Chelsea on Sunday, it now looks like Manchester United are also all but certain to end up in the Champions League places. Despite that—despite the potential importance of Sunday’s 2-1 win—United manager Jose Mourinho says that there’s a bigger game coming on the horizon for his side.
“Probably to play Liverpool in a couple of weeks’ time means more because for my club—and of course everyone knows the most important thing is not me—to play Liverpool really has a special meaning,” Mourinho said after his side appeared to lock down a top four Premier League finish by beating Antonio Conte’s Blues.
Chelsea aren’t entirely out of the top four running—they still face Tottenham and Liverpool and could make up ground—but with the season three-quarters done and their struggles in 2018, it’s clear they’re now the outsiders in the race. And that United, Liverpool, and Tottenham are the heavy favourites.
Playing down the importance of beating Chelsea might be a touch petty on Mourinho’s part—a chance to call his former club unimportant—but now that that game is in the books there’s no bigger Premier League game in the next four weeks than the one that pits his side against Jürgen Klopp’s in-form Liverpool.
“That’s the way I have to look at things,” Mourinho added. “I don’t have any bad feeling in relation to Chelsea to say: ‘Oh, I’m going to prove this and that against my former club.’ The feeling for the fans, that little extra adrenaline, is not about Chelsea, it is more about Liverpool.”