Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has criticised the Premier League over fixture scheduling that will see the reigning champions face Liverpool in a huge game on Saturday evening mere days after a 6,000 mile round trip to Azerbaijan to face Qarabag in the Champions League.
Liverpool enjoyed the privilege of playing their Champions League game on Tuesday and will have a day longer to rest before the game at Anfield.
"This is a really good target for us to reach the next round before the [last] game, 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 it is the second time this situation has happened," Conte commented ahead of the game in Baku (Chelseafc.com).
"It was the same when we played Atletico Madrid away and we came back to London at 5am (on Thursday morning) and then played on Saturday against Manchester City who had played the day before."
The travelling Chelsea party will have spent around 11 hours on a plane this week by the time they touch down in London on Thursday morning and will have only one full day to prepare.
"It will be very difficult for us to recover and to rest," Conte continued.
"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.
"At this moment England needs to understand this and change something because for a lot of time there is not an English team to playing in the final of the Champions League, but why because the teams are very strong and they have the possibility to go through?"