Antonio Conte makes point about Liverpool FC ahead of Chelsea clash
Antonio Conte is not happy about the fixture scheduling ahead of Chelsea's trip to Liverpool FC
Antonio Conte has pointed to the fact that Liverpool FC will have an extra day to recover from their Champions League exploits ahead of their crunch Premier League clash with Chelsea on Saturday.
The west London side record a 4-0 win against Qarabag on Wednesday night following the long journey to Azerbaijan in Europe’s elite club competition, with Conte’s men due to return to England early on Thursday morning.
Liverpool FC, meanwhile, returned from Spain and their 3-3 draw with Sevilla on Tuesday night in the early hours of Wednesday morning, meaning that Jurgen Klopp’s men will effectively have 24 hours more recovery time than Conte’s side.
Liverpool FC host Chelsea in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday evening in the 17:30 kick-off.
And the Chelsea boss has admitted that he is less than impressed with the way the fixtures have been organised – and not for the first time this season.
Speaking at his pre-match news conference before the Qarabag game, Conte said: “We know we are going to play another tough, big game against Liverpool and I am a bit surprised because in this season it is the second time this situation has happened.
“It was the same when we played Atletico Madrid away and we came back to London at five o’clock [in the morning] and then played on Saturday against Manchester City who had played the day before.
“Now again Liverpool is playing tonight and we are have to play tomorrow against Qarabag, a long travel, and it will be very difficult for us to recover and to rest.
“Whoever prepares the fixtures for the league must pay great attention, otherwise it very difficult when I am asked if my team is ready to catch Manchester City if they put us in this type of situation.
“I don’t like to find excuses but this is the reality and sometimes it is good to give respect for our job. To prepare the game in only one day is very difficult.”
Chelsea head into the game looking to continue their recent good form in the Premier League, with the Blues having beaten Manchester United and West Brom in their most recent two outings.
The Blues are third in the table and nine points off top spot.