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Chelsea, Liverpool, And Man City Face Nightmare With Champions League Last 16 Fixtures

Chelsea, Liverpool, And Man City Face Nightmare With Champions League Last 16 Fixtures

Premier League top clubs, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Tottenham are facing a fixture scheduling nightmare after the Champions League last 16 draw was held on Monday.

All four teams discovered their opponents in the knockout phase of the competition with the realization that their European adventure is set to affect their domestic campaigns more so than first thought.

The Premier League quartet are still to play their postponed fixtures against each other from earlier this season after they were postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth on September 8. It was believed that after the World Cup there would be an opportunity to play the fixtures during a dormant week of English football.

However, the draw has ensured there is no longer a natural time to play their fixtures in hand, handing a huge headache to the Premier League quartet.

Liverpool are set to face Real Madrid in a rematch of 2022 final in Paris which the La Liga champions won 1-0, while Chelsea are up against Borussia Dortmund. Tottenham travel to AC Milan for their first-leg clash while Manchester City have to wait another eight days before they take on RB Leipzig

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Due to UEFA rules concerning clubs in the same cities and leagues, Tottenham and Chelsea have been paired in the first round of games taking place on February 14 and 15, while Liverpool and City will have to wait another week to play their games on February 21 and 22.

Had Chelsea and Liverpool been drawn in the same group of fixtures, club officials would have been able to arrange a date when there are no league fixtures taking place – for example, when Tottenham and City would have arranged their game.

However, the clubs have been denied that opportunity after the fixture schedule put them in opposing weeks of the calendar, meaning all four teams will be forced to trawl through their already congested schedules to find a time for matches to be played.

For Chelsea and City, much could depend on the outcome of their Carabao Cup tie as the two teams are set to meet next in the third round of the competition. With one team exiting in round three, a loss for the other team in round four could result in a fixture being arranged with Liverpool and Tottenham.

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But it is more likely that they are forced to play two games within close proximity of each other, something Jurgen Klopp has experienced before. Liverpool opted to field a line-up containing their under-23 development squad in a FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury after it clashed with the club’s plans to play in the Club World Cup.

While is there no suggestion club bosses like Klopp, Graham Potter, Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola would be forced into such a situation just yet, the dilemma of finding a game week to play their Premier League fixtures could be crucial as all four teams battle to finish in the top four and even contend for the league title.

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