Antonio Conte told to stop moaning about Chelsea v Man City scheduling
Martin Keown doesn't have much sympathy for Chelsea boss Antonio Conte despite his complaints about fixture scheduling
Martin Keown has rubbished Antonio Conte’s complaints about the scheduling of Chelsea’s clash against Manchester City.
The defending Premier League champions will welcome Pep Guardiola’s side to Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s late kick-off.
Manchester City eased to a 2-0 win against Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.
Chelsea, on the other hand, came from behind to secure a brilliant 2-1 win against La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital on Wednesday night.
Conte’s players will have had just under 72 hours to recover and prepare for the visit of the Premier League leaders in the biggest domestic fixture of the 2017-18 season so far.
The Blues will be hoping to inflict upon the Citizens a first defeat of the season and move level on points with the title favourites.
The Chelsea boss has been critical of the Premier League’s decision to schedule the top of the table clash on Saturday as opposed to Sunday.
However, former Arsenal defender Keown explained why he had little sympathy for the reigning Premier League champions.
“How on earth can Conte complain? He won the league last season from a blank piece of paper in terms of extra fixtures in Europe,” Keown told the Daily Mail.
“After profiting from their scarcity of games, Conte cannot take issue with a problem caused directly by his own success.
“Of course no-one likes playing their rivals close to Champions League games. But there are so many good teams in the Premier League now that you cannot manipulate the fixtures.
“It would be one thing complaining if Chelsea had to go up to the Etihad on Saturday but they play at Stamford Bridge!
“As a player, I would sooner have a home game after a trip to Europe. City may have had an extra day’s preparation but Chelsea have home advantage.
“To moan about fixtures actually detracts from the fact Chelsea go into this game in really good shape.”
Chelsea have won the Premier League title in two of the past three seasons but are looking to retain the trophy for the first time since Jose Mourinho won the top-flight crowns in 2005 and 2006.