Premier League

Rafael Benitez feels Chelsea can still win the Premier League title

Rafael Benitez: Interim manager is confident that Chelsea can still win the Premier League title

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Rafael Benitez is confident Chelsea can still challenge for the Premier League title and hopes victory in the Club World Cup will be a springboard to further success.

Chelsea face Corinthians in the final in Japan on Sunday and, by the time they return to England, the European champions could trail leaders Manchester United, who will have played a game more, by 13 points.

However, Benitez does not think such a gap is insurmountable and recalls how his Valencia side rallied from eight points down to win the Primera Division title in 2004.

"Before I came here I had a lot of other offers," said Benitez, who is in interim charge until the end of the season after replacing Roberto Di Matteo.

"I could be working in Spain or Italy or China, earning massive money at a club in the middle of the table for 10 years. But I was waiting for a top side. I want to compete to win trophies.

"I could be working in Spain or Italy or China, earning massive money at a club in the middle of the table for 10 years. But I was waiting for a top side. I want to compete to win trophies."

Rafael Benitez

"People have asked me questions about whether it's a two-horse race between the two Manchester clubs. But realistically, with three points for a game, if you win two or three in a row you have more confidence.

"If we win here and play like we did on Thursday, with the quality going forward and the right balance in defence, we can go on a run.

"How many games? I don't know. Others can do that, too. But after three or four wins in a row, the confidence can be high. So why not?

"At Liverpool, we had 11 games, drew against Arsenal and won the other 10. So why can't we do the same here? To win here would be a big boost to everyone and we would go home with a lot of confidence.

"At Valencia we were well behind, eight points down in January or February, but I told the players that they would go on to win the league."

Asked if he had yet had that conversation with his Chelsea players, Benitez added: "I've not told the players here, yet, that we can win the league.

"If we win here it will make a difference. I can see in their faces they have belief. That means it's working and we can talk about the movement we need.

"But I will be able to see if I can do it here after our first Premier League match back, against Aston Villa."

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