Advertisement

Enzo Maresca already facing Chelsea fixture chaos as Todd Boehly makes manager call

Chelsea have set their sights on appointing Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca
-Credit: (Image: Clive Mason)


Chelsea are set to face a chaotic season ahead as they prepare to compete in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

The Blues were on course for a spot in the Europa League, thanks to Mauricio Pochettino's efforts that saw them finish sixth after a strong end to the season. Chelsea have previously won the Europa League twice, in 2013 and 2019.

However, Manchester United's surprise FA Cup final victory over Manchester City has seen Chelsea relegated to the Europa Conference League. The Red Devils' triumph meant they leapfrogged Chelsea into the Europa League, while Newcastle United, who finished seventh, miss out on European competition entirely.

Adding to the situation, Chelsea are currently seeking a new head coach following Pochettino's departure, marking the fourth managerial change since the new ownership took over two years ago.

The incoming manager will not only have to deal with this upheaval but also one of Chelsea's busiest seasons to date. Depending on their progress in domestic cup competitions, the Blues could be facing up to 74 competitive matches next season, potentially playing for 330 days of the 365-day calendar year, reports the Mirror.

Chelsea's fixture list is set to be jam-packed, excluding major tournaments or pre-season fixtures. Several Blues stars, including England's Cole Palmer, are set to feature in the European Championship this summer, which concludes on 14 July.

READ MORE: Todd Boehly has already informed new Chelsea manager one of his priorities

READ MORE: Chelsea transfer news LIVE – Enzo Maresca update, Roberto De Zerbi move

Just ten days later, Chelsea will fly out to the United States for a series of matches against Wrexham, Celtic, Club America, Manchester City and Real Madrid from 24 July to 6 August.

The Premier League season kicks off less than two weeks later on the weekend of 17 and 18 August. The following week, Chelsea will face a play-off round to reach the group stage of the Europa Conference League.

If they had qualified for the Europa League, these additional fixtures could have been avoided. Should they progress through the group stage, another play-off match could be on the cards as they aim to reach the round of 16.

A journey to the final in Poland would see the Blues playing a whopping 17 matches in the Conference League, while domestic cup competitions could add up to 12 more games. They'll also need to consider an extra seven matches from the Club World Cup next summer, running from June 15 to July 13, featuring 32 teams, including Chelsea.

Chelsea could be in action from the start of the Premier League season in mid-August to mid-July, a staggering 330 days out of the year. This comes at a time when player welfare has been thrust into the spotlight due to the increasing demands of international and domestic schedules.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are still on the hunt for a new head coach ahead of the busy season, with Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna no longer in contention and Leicester City's Enzo Maresca emerging as the club's top target. The club have have held talks with Leicester over an approach for manager Maresca, football.london understands.