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Chelsea's 2015-16 Champions League schedule released

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Chelsea have gotten fairly lucky with our Champions League group draw when compared to other English teams, with two games against an Israeli team and the other ones against mid-sized European forces. But we could still face two problems: first, we will be covering a long distance with our travels to Israel and Ukraine, as noted by Jake Cohen; second, we could have a congested and difficult schedule domestically.

So, let's see how our continental schedule looks like in isolation:

Wednesday September 16: Maccabi Tel-Aviv (H)
Tuesday September 29: FC Porto (A)
Tuesday October 20: Dynamo Kiev (A)
Wednesday November 4: Dynamo Kiev (H)
Tuesday November 24: Maccabi Tel-Aviv (A)
Wednesday December 9: FC Porto (H)

And now, let's take a look how our schedule will look in a broader picture with league games included:

Sa Everton (A) -- W Maccabi Tel-Aviv (H) -- Sa Arsenal (H)
Sa Newcastle United (A) -- T FC Porto (A) -- Sa Southampton (H)
Sa Aston Villa (H) -- T Dynamo Kiev (A) -- Sa West Ham United (A)
Sa Liverpool (H) -- W Dynamo Kiev (H) -- Sa Stoke City (A)
Sa Norwich City (H) -- T Maccabi Tel-Aviv (A) -- S Tottenham Hotspur (A)
Sa Bournemouth (H) -- W FC Porto (H) -- Sa Leicester City (A)

Coincidentally, we will play against Maccabi Tel-Aviv ahead of two local derbies, against Arsenal at home and Tottenham away. To make matters a little more difficult for the latter, we will be returning from a long travel to Israel -- although we will have one extra day to rest.

Of the opponents we're scheduled to face, Arsenal are the only other team with Champions League commitments as well. The Gunners will be facing Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb away before their match against Chelsea, which can also cause some recovery problems. Meanwhile, Tottenham, Liverpool and Southampton* have yet to learn which opponent they might face in the Europa League before their weekend matches against the Blues.

*At the time this article was being written, Southampton were losing 2-1 to Midtjylland on aggregate in their Europa League qualification play-off match.

All other league matches involve teams focused solely on domestic competitions, and that includes bogey team Newcastle, good-looking (so far) West Ham and Stoke City, and Claudio Ranieri-led Leicester City.  All of those will be away matches, which could prove a bit more difficult depending on fitness and match readiness.

It could have been much worse, though. Hopefully our squad will be as healthy as it has been since last season, and Mourinho will be able to also provide some first-team experience to players such as Kenedy and Bertrand Traoré in some of these European matches without too much risk.

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