Conte: No excuses for Liverpool clash

Nov 24, 2017 - 6:58 PM Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is offering no excuses ahead of his side's showdown with Liverpool after they endured a turbulent return to London from Azerbaijan.

The Blues' flight back after their Champions League win against Qarabag in Baku was complicated as their plane landed at the second attempt, the first was aborted due to strong winds at London Gatwick Airport, and Conte and his players finally got to their beds at 6am on Thursday.

But the Italian is refusing to allow anything to distract from the task of trying to beat Liverpool at Anfield.

"It was a problem to land. In these circumstances you feel a bit afraid, a bit scared," the Italian said.

"To get to your house at 6am is not simple. To have only one day to prepare for a big game, especially to have only one day to rest, is not right.

"But at the same time we must be focused on the game, a big game against Liverpool. Don't find excuses."

Chelsea head into the game for a reunion with a "very dangerous" Mohamed Salah.

Salah joined Chelsea in January 2014, having impressed playing against them for Swiss side Basel.

But the Egypt forward was soon loaned out to Fiorentina and then Roma, making the latter move permanent in 2016 before joining Liverpool last summer.

Conte declined to discuss the reasons for Salah's unsuccessful Chelsea spell, because it was before his time at the club but did praise the Premier League's top scorer.

"He was very young and I think now he has developed a lot," Conte said.

"Salah is a good player and is very dangerous. He's a technical player, but at the same time is very fast, very strong, very good in a one-on-one.

"They have a good coach (Jurgen Klopp), they have a good identity. Great organisation, especially offensively. They are very dangerous."

The Blues won 4-0 against Qarabag to qualify from Champions League Group C on Wednesday.

But Conte has continually bemoaned the fixture scheduling which sees his side go to Anfield having had one day's preparation, 24 hours less than Liverpool, who drew at Sevilla on Tuesday.

Chelsea are hunting a fifth straight league win, but trail leaders Manchester City by nine points entering this weekend's fixtures.

Source: AAP

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