Chelsea have suffered a major, unfair, setback ahead of their clash with Liverpool on Saturday evening.
The Blues brushed aside Qarabag on Wednesday to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League. The game was fairly straightforward for Antonio Conte’s men, but the trip as whole could prove to be problematic.
The Independent report that Chelsea arrived back into London at 4am after a sleepless, five-hour journey back from Azerbaijan.
To arrive home at 4am on Thursday morning when you have one of the biggest games on the Premier League fixture list on Saturday is far from ideal.
Antonio Conte is not a happy man. He revealed that he had to begin preparations for the Liverpool game mid-flight, as the Independent report:
“We have to work during the flight, to prepare the game against Liverpool.”
Conte used his post-match press conference as an opportunity to appeal for help, insisting that something needs to be done to help clubs battle through the implausible scheduling. The Independent quote Conte, who says:
“To have only one day to rest and only one day to prepare this big game is not simple, is not easy. I think also it’s not right.”
“I don’t want to make excuses, but this is the reality. Also, when people hear the complaints of the coach, also someone has to help us. The press, the TV, to underline this strange situation.”
He’s got a point…
While we understand that the fixtures are adjusted in order to meet the demands of the broadcasters, we have to start better protecting the players in order to avoid fatigue – and ultimately injury.