Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho said Chelsea are “lucky” to play on Tuesday ahead of Sunday’s derby, but insisted that his team are aware of the unfavourable Europa League schedule.
Tottenham and Chelsea are currently first and third in the Premier League respectively, with just two points separating the two London sides.
Form-wise, both have also had remarkable winning runs.
Spurs have won all seven of their last matches in all competitions, while Olivier Giroud’s goal against Rennes on Tuesday secured Chelsea’s sixth consecutive victory across all competitions.
However, Spurs will have to face Ludogorets in the Europa League on Thursday, before making the short trip to West London to Stamford Bridge at the weekend.
Mourinho implied that Chelsea might have an advantage of extra days to prepare but refused to complain about the inevitable.
“Since the moment we [qualified for] the Europa League we know that we will always have to play on Thursday,” he told the reporters during his press conference on Wednesday (via Football Daily).
“In the Champions League, they have the option of Tuesday or Wednesday.
“In that case, they [Chelsea] were lucky this week that the draw gave them a Tuesday match that will allow them to prepare for the match on Sunday.
“But it’s not a new thing, it happens all the time — and we are not going to complain [about] it.”
Frank Lampard, however, believes Spurs have the squad depth to rest some of their key players for the weekend.
“I know Tottenham play on Thursday,” the Chelsea manager told Chelsea TV on Tuesday.
“But it’s at home and I think it’s quite a comfortable fixture for them on paper.
“They maybe make some changes [in the line-up].”