Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri says his players are “physically and mentally tired” before their Europa League last-16 first leg against Dynamo Kiev.
The game against the Ukrainian side will be Chelsea’s seventh in 18 days, a run that included extra time in the Carabao Cup final with Manchester City.
It is a schedule that the former Napoli boss believes puts English clubs at a disadvantage in European competitions.
“The last week was very hard for us. We need to rest some players,” said Sarri.
“We have played six, seven, eight matches more than other European teams [this season], which means two months without training. For an English team it’s very difficult to be competitive in Europe in March, April.
“Ajax didn’t play the last match in the Dutch championship. If an Italian team plays a Europa League game away from home, you can ask to play on Monday. We play 62, 63 hours after Dynamo. It’s too early,” Sarri added.