Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has played down Man United's chances of Champions League glory, saying English domestic fixture congestion will work against the three-time European champs.

The EPL pacesetters are set to open their campaign against Swiss champions Basel at Old Trafford tonight.

According to Mourinho, both Real Madrid and Juventus enjoyed an easier domestic schedule, pointing to the lack of a winter break in England.

"The only thing I can say is that Real Madrid last year played the last month in La Liga with the second team," he said.

"And they arrived in the Champions League final with a fresh team." The United boss said it was impossible for English teams to do likewise because usually competition in the domestic game remained fierce until the end of the season.

"I know it goes against us but I have to admit I love the Christmas period of football. And then there is the fact that we have to play two days before the matches in Europe and then other countries protect their clubs," Jose added.