Pochettino: Chelsea have a clear advantage

Ian Watson

Mauricio Pochettino has urged the Premier League to help teams in the Europa League, claiming Chelsea will have a “clear advantage” over Tottenham on Sunday.

Having beat West Ham 4-1 on Sunday, Spurs have made an 11-hour, 5,000-mile round trip to Azerbaijan to face Qarabag in the Europa League.

They will fly straight back after Thursday’s match, arriving back in London on Friday morning ahead of taking on Premier League champions Chelsea at midday on Sunday, just over 48 hours later.

“We need more help from our country and the Premier League,” Spurs head coach Pochettino said.

“It’s not a complaint, but this is the reality when you play Thursday, and you have a long trip home and play again on Sunday morning.

“We have a difficult opponent, in this case Chelsea, who have three days more than us to prepare.

“We have only one day. It’s a clear advantage for our opponent.

“We need to accept the rules for the game, but we need to say what is the reality for us.

“You need some help to compete in the same condition as the opponent. It’s not very difficult. I think it’s not fair.

“When we played Aston Villa we played on Monday, then a big, big game on Thursday against Anderlecht, then on Sunday against Arsenal. It gives the advantage to the opponent.

“We have 18 international players and every international break they go to play.

“We need to think, too, that a difficult summer is coming with the European Championships and to manage in a good way, assess after every game to keep them fit and avoid injuries too. This is a big concern for us.”