Chelsea boss Conte blasts fixture list as he discusses title chase

Chelsea boss Conte blasts fixture list as he discusses title chase

The Chelsea manger thinks the placement of fixtures has had an adverse effect on the Blues' title challenge.

Oliver Emmerson

Antonio Conte blasted the fixture list and the impact it's had on Chelsea's title challenge, after the Blues' win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

A convincing 4-0 victory, courtesy of goals from Alvaro Morata, Eden Hazard (2) and Marcos Alonso handed Chelsea all three points, but their boss wasn't completely happy.

Having praised his side for their performance in a fourth straight Premier League win, Conte was quizzed as to whether his side can catch Manchester City, who have already opened up a nine point lead over the Blues at the top.

"It's very difficult to think that someone can stop them," Conte explained.

"They are having a fantastic run because from the start of the season they've won all apart from one, at home to Everton."

However, the Italian thinks that things could have been a little different had the fixture list been altered, given the Blues lost 0-1 to City in September less than 72 hours after a gruelling Champions League win in Spain over Atletico Madrid.

"For sure, it was a pity to play against Manchester City after only two days back after Atletico Madrid," said Conte.

"For sure it was a pity, for this reason I think that sometimes, whoever prepares the fixtures must pay more attention to give the teams more possibility [of winning].

"In the game, Manchester City was favourite and you can see that now we stay very close but if we win against Manchester City, the distance is not nine points."

Big week ahead

It wasn't just that particular week in September that Conte grumbled about, ahead of a big week for his side.

They play Qarabag on Wednesday, looking to qualify for the Champions League last 16, before visiting Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds will have an extra day's rest compared to Chelsea ahead of the game, as they face Sevilla on Tuesday in their own Champions League group.

"Now we play against Qarabag on Wednesday," Conte eluded.

"We'll fly back on Thursday around five or six in the morning, and then we have another big game two days later against Liverpool, is it normal? I don't think so.

"If someone wants more balance in this league, they must pay greater attention when preparing the fixtures."