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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel agrees with Jurgen Klopp over fixture complaints

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side could play up to 63 games this season alone (Photo: Getty)

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has agreed with his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp that the current football fixture list is too demanding on players.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace, Tuchel was asked what he made of Chelsea’s packed schedule, given the Blues have played a staggering seven games across the last 28 days.

‘It’s very difficult and demanding,’ the German told reporters.

‘We just had a look at the minutes played this season and we are by far the team that played the most minutes. We added some minutes with extra times so this adds up. It’s pretty demanding but it’s what you sign up for.’

At the time of writing, Chelsea have already played 53 games this season, with another nine or ten still to go depending on the outcome of Sunday’s match.

Such a high number comes as a result of the club’s participation in the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup, as well as reaching the League Cup final and progressing far into the FA Cup and Champions League.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has often complained about the congested football calendar (Photo: Liverpool YouTube)

And while Chelsea have one of the biggest and most expensive squads in the world right now, it doesn’t make things too much easier for the players and coaching staff.

Klopp has frequently bemoaned the number of games and lack of rest time for players. While there has been the introduction of a Premier League ‘winter break’ as well as the decision to allow five substitutions in games from next season, he continued to discuss the topic in his own press conference ahead of Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Saturday.

Tuchel for his part added: ‘If you play on a Sunday, it absolutely makes senses to play on a Wednesday in midweek, but we had sometimes the situation that we need to play on a Tuesday which makes things very very tight to one game and then suddenly you have a bit of bigger gap to the other game.

‘We don’t complain about it much because it means that we’re in all the competitions and we want to have that schedule.

‘But in between there can be adjustments that make things easier to recover and to take care of the players because it is about the players this game and about taking care that they don’t get injured and that we prevent them for being injured and for that we simply need hours to recover.

‘In these details I agree with him [Klopp]. In general, it is a stressful schedule, but we love it at the same time. The five changes will help a lot.’


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