Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has backed Chelsea to win the Premier League, saying the 'Mourinho factor' will be decisive.
Carragher, who made 737 appearances for the Reds over 16 years, also hailed the 'tremendous job' done by Brendan Rodgers in making Liverpool title contenders once again.
“You can’t look past the Mourinho factor, he always has a way of winning. He always seems to do it," Carragher told RTE Sport.
“Chelsea are top. They have a slight lead over Liverpool [in second place], of four points, so that’s very tight.
“How long they go in the Champions League may be a deciding factor as well because it looks like Arsenal and Man City may go out, which might actually help them in terms of the league.
“We know Liverpool have no other games, which has been a big advantage for them this season."
Carragher praised Rodgers' policy of bringing in young players, which he credits with what many see as the Merseysiders' over-achievement this campaign.
“If you looked at the squads of Chelsea, Manchester City and maybe even Arsenal you would probably say they’re all better than Liverpool," said Carragher.
“So the fact that Brendan Rodgers has got them up there, he’s done a tremendous job.
“I don’t think anyone would have seen Liverpool as title contenders this season, top four maybe, but they are now contenders.
“Credit goes to the players of course but mainly Brendan Rodgers.
"He’s turned around a lot in that squad, he’s giving young British players a chance as well, he’s not a chequebook manager.
“He’s brought players in as well, you have to, but he’s given young players a chance and deserves a lot of credit."
Carragher also backed Rodgers to bring Liverpool back to the top table - this is their fourth season in a row out of the Champions League - but cautioned that the squad will need reinforcements to compete in Europe.
“I think Brendan Rodgers is the man to do it," he said. "The fact he’s bringing young players in gives everyone at the club a lift.
“Liverpool will be in Europe next year, hopefully that’s the Champions League but I think then we’ll see that the squad needs strengthening.
“I don’t think the bench is the strongest but they’re getting away with that at the minute, because they don’t have as many injuries and have less games, but next season it will be important that the club back him in the transfer market so they’re as strong as those other sides.”