?Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has done his best impression of Stamford Bridge predecessor Jose Mourinho and hinted at a fixture list conspiracy after once more feeling the reigning champions are being punished by regularly having less opportunity to rest than their opponents.
Chelsea face Newcastle in the early kick-off on Saturday, with the Magpies having enjoyed 24 hours longer to prepare after playing on Tuesday night in the week, compared to Chelsea’s midweek fixture a day later on Wednesday.
Conte was ?less than pleased when his team had to play against Liverpool last Saturday so soon after a 6,000 mile round trip to Azerbaijan in the Champions League, with the return travel from Baku leaving just Friday to train and prepare for the crunch lunchtime fixture at Anfield.
The Italian’s biggest issue appears to be the regularity with which he thinks his team is being made to play domestic games in such a quick turnaround, citing this as the fourth this season.
“It’s difficult to think it’s a coincidence. This is the fourth time. If someone wants to joke with me I’m not the right person to joke with,” he is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
“Once it can happen. Twice it can happen. The third time, you start to be perplexed. In only 14 games [it has happened] four times,” he added.
“Every team has this type of situation. But from start of the season, I don’t know, I see only Chelsea to have this type of situation.
“I don’t want advantages. If we have to play every two days, I’m ready. But we need to have the same rest as our opponents, then we see what happens.
“Is it difficult to do this? I don’t think so. It is a strange coincidence.”