Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says the Premier League scheduling matches around those of the Champions League is making it impossible for him to catch league leaders, Manchester City.

The Blues are in Azerbaijan preparing for Wednesday night’s Champions League tie against Qarabag, with a win securing their a place in the last of 16.

Conte is furious at being forced to fly 2,500 miles home from Baku, and arrive in London on Thursday at 5 a.m, before facing Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.

It is the second time this season Chelsea have been subjected to this type of schedule, the first was before their match against Manchester City, which they lost 1-0.

“This is a really good target for us to reach the next round before the game against Atletico,” said Conte.

“But at the same time 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 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.”