Chelsea boss unconcerned by Club World Cup congestion

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Football News

Roberto Di Matteo is confident Chelsea have the strength in depth to cope with the fixture congestion of the FIFA Club World Cup.

The reigning European champions travel to Japan next month to compete against the victors from the world's other club confederations, potentially taking their total number of games in December to nine.

In addition to their five Premier League games, the Blues also face Nordsjaelland in their final Champions League group game and travel to Leeds United in the Capital One Cup quarter-final, and so the mid-season trip to Asia will be a real test of the squad's fitness.

"It will certainly put a big strain on the team, because it is a trip to the other side of the world with different time zones while the Premier League is still playing on," said Di Matteo.

"We will have to deal with that. But we have got a big enough squad that I think we should be able to cope with it."

The Italian tactician had asked the Premier League if one or two of Chelsea's domestic games could be rescheduled, but the powers that be rejected the Stamford Bridge club's application.

Despite his criticism of the decision last week, Di Matteo is still delighted to be leading his team into the FIFA Club World Cup, in what will be their first ever appearance in the competition.

"It can be a once in a lifetime experience and opportunity because it is such a long road to actually qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan," he added.

"It's a really big honour to be involved. You have won the Champions League and we want to represent Europe in the best manner possible."

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