Holland: FA could have helped Chelsea more

Chelsea could have received more assistance from the Football Association in their UEFA Champions League push, according to Steve Holland.

Jose Mourinho's men were originally scheduled to play Sunderland on Sunday, but were successful in their attempts to move the Premier League game one day forward.

That is in preparation for the first leg of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final at Atletico Madrid.

But assistant coach Holland pointed towards the schedule of Real Madrid and Atletico – both in the last four of Europe's premier club competition – and hinted that Chelsea could have been looked after more.

Holland said on Friday: "Atletico play tonight. Real Madrid aren't playing at all (this weekend).

"I'm sure they appreciate the help their federation has given them."

Chelsea cannot afford to take their eye off the meeting with Sunderland, given what is at stake in the Stamford Bridge clash.

Mourinho's side can win the Premier League if they triumph in their four remaining fixtures, which include a trip to table-toppers Liverpool.

Holland does not feel the Anfield clash will decide the title, though, and hopes Chelsea's experience will come to the fore in the run-in.

"This game (on Saturday) is of huge importance," he added.

"(It) will be a very difficult game that we have to approach in a very professional manner.

"I don't believe the title will be decided by our match with Liverpool. This is a club that is used to playing a lot of matches at this stage of the season.

"It is a really challenging period, not just physically - that's obvious - but emotionally too. I think experience is always vital in any competition. We have a good blend in our squad.

"First, second and third position are possible for all three teams at the top. It is very close."

Holland also revealed that Eden Hazard would certainly miss the Sunderland match with a calf injury and that he is a "major doubt" for the clash against Atletico.