Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes that the clubs in the Premier League do not do well in the Champions League compared to their European counterparts due to the intense nature of the league.
The Portuguese manager cited examples of defending champions Real Madrid and Juventus, who could rest players for their league games when competing in the later stages of Europe, which would be impossible for any team in England without sacrificing their league aspirations.
The Red Devils face Basel in the group stages of the Champions League on Tuesday (12 September), the tournament they missed out on last season owing to their dismal league performance in the 2015/16 campaign. They will be without the services of the suspended duo of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones for the game.
The Ivory Coast international was handed a three-match ban for his red card in last season's Europa League final against Celta Vigo. Jones, on the other hand, is suspended for two European matches for verbally abusing the Doping Control officer following United's 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final earlier in May.
"Real Madrid last year played the last month in La Liga with a second team. They could do it. They arrived in the Champions League final with a fresh team," Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by the Independent.
"Juventus, because they were champions in Italy three months in advance, they could play the last month with a second team. They were fresh also for the quarter-finals, semi-finals, final. English teams normally that's impossible, because the competition goes very strong until the end.
"No winter break and in other countries, winter break. That's cultural and it means a lot, and I have to admit I love it. I love the English Christmas period of football. Then the fact that we have to play many times with two days before the big matches in Europe, while other countries protect their clubs.
"Benfica played Friday night. In Portugal,we always do that. In Italy, they always do that. Paris Saint-Germain played Friday, that happens all the time. But no complaints. This is what we have, we have squads. If we think they are tired, we played with other players."