Mauricio Pochettino has urged the Premier League to help teams in the Europa League, claiming Chelsea will have a “clear advantage” over Tottenham on Sunday.
Having beat West Ham 4-1 on Sunday, Spurs have made an 11-hour, 5,000-mile round trip to Azerbaijan to face Qarabag in the Europa League.
They will fly straight back after Thursday’s match, arriving back in London on Friday morning ahead of taking on Premier League champions Chelsea at midday on Sunday, just over 48 hours later.
“We need more help from our country and the Premier League,” Spurs head coach Pochettino said.
“It’s not a complaint, but this is the reality when you play Thursday, and you have a long trip home and play again on Sunday morning.
“We have a difficult opponent, in this case Chelsea, who have three days more than us to prepare.
“We have only one day. It’s a clear advantage for our opponent.
“We need to accept the rules for the game, but we need to say what is the reality for us.
“You need some help to compete in the same condition as the opponent. It’s not very difficult. I think it’s not fair.
“When we played Aston Villa we played on Monday, then a big, big game on Thursday against Anderlecht, then on Sunday against Arsenal. It gives the advantage to the opponent.
“We have 18 international players and every international break they go to play.
“We need to think, too, that a difficult summer is coming with the European Championships and to manage in a good way, assess after every game to keep them fit and avoid injuries too. This is a big concern for us.”
Tottenham rest stars for Europa clash
Victory in Baku will seal Tottenham’s place in the knock-out stages with a game to spare, but Pochettino has left key players like Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele and Kyle Walker at home with an eye on Sunday’s derby clash.
The Spurs boss has brought in-form striker Harry Kane to Azerbaijan, although the England international may start on the bench having played almost every minute of every game for club and country recently.
“We will see if Kane plays,” Pochettino added ahead of the Group J encounter.
“This is a problem we have had in the last few weeks, the international players play a lot; Kane, (Dele) Alli, Walker, (Eric) Dier.
“The competition is very tough and it’s not easy to manage that.
“But always we try to assess and analyse to make the correct decision. Tomorrow is a very important game, one that we need to win.”