ANTONIO CONTE has accused the Premier League of wrecking the chances of Champions League glory for English clubs by tinkering with too many fixtures.
Chelsea will have barely 60 hours to recover from a 5,000 miles round trip to the edge of Asia with a four hour time difference before heading to Liverpool for Saturday tea-time’s live televised match.
Boss Conte wants to qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions League but needs victory against FA Qarabag to do so.
He has ordered his players to keep to English time while here which means many will not go to bed until 2AM.
Chelsea were the most recent English team to win the Champions League, in 2012. A fact not lost on Conte as he juggles the fixture pile up and the demands of TV companies.
He said: “I'm talking for all the teams who are playing in the Champions League, not just for Chelsea. At this moment, England needs to try to understand this and change something.
“For a lot of time, there hasn't been an English team playing a final in the Champions League. Why? The teams are very strong, and every team has the possibility to go through to the path to the Champions League final. Whoever prepares these fixtures must pay great attention.
“We are doing our job. It's important to do our job in the best way. I think we want also a bit of respect for our job.”
This marathon trip to Azerbaijan is the furthest Chelsea have travelled in European competition.
Chelsea lost 1-0 at home to Manchester City in September having won in Madrid three nights previously.
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Conte said: “This season, it's the second time that's happened, this situation.
“The first time it was the same: against Manchester City, when we played on Wednesday away at Atletico Madrid returned to London at 5am and played City on the Saturday, who had played the day before us.
“Now Liverpool are playing one day before us and we have to play tomorrow against Qarabag, a long trip. It will be very difficult for us to recover, to rest. Whoever prepared the fixtures for the league must pay great attention.
“Otherwise it's very difficult when you ask me if my team are ready to catch Manchester City if they put us in this type of situation.”
Conte is set to reshuffle his team to juggle the rigours of long-distance glory hunting with Antonio Rudiger and Pedro set to start.
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Conte said: “I have to make the best decision for these games. Also because we are playing every three days.
“It's normal to have rotation for the team. But I trust all my players.
“I have my choices and I'm very sure on my choices. I trust in all my players.”