Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says Chelsea feel a “bit penalised” by the fixture scheduling, having had both the disadvantage of playing away and a day later than Manchester City ahead of Saturday’s big match between the teams.
The reigning champions were impressive on Wednesday night as a last second goal by Michy Batshuayi against Atletico Madrid meant they came away from the new Wanda Metropolitano with three precious points.
For Conte’s men though, this means less rest and preparation time before Pep Guardiola’s in-form City head to Stamford Bridge.
“Against a difficult team like Atletico Madrid this is a good win,” Conte said after Chelsea’s 2-1 win. “Now it’s important to rest and recover because we don’t have much time before the game on Saturday against Manchester City.”
City’s extra 24 hours to prepare for the weekend game seems to be in Conte’s thoughts, despite his team’s huge win in Spain.
“Honestly in this case I feel a bit penalised and I think it is important to analyse the situation,” he said. “Tonight we play away and we return to London at about four o’clock tomorrow morning. To only have one day to prepare for this game is not right. It’s not right.”
In reality, most teams in Europe face a similar disadvantage at some point in the season. City are currently scheduled to face Manchester United just three days after a trip to Ukraine to play Shakhtar Donetsk in December, although if the Blues are lucky, the fixture will be pushed back to Sunday for television broadcasting.