Antonio Conte: it will be hard to win the Champions League

Antonio Conte says the biggest obstacle in Chelsea’s bid for Champions League glory is the Premier League – and not Barcelona or Paris St Germain.

Lionel Messi’s Barca and Neymar’s PSG, plus Turkish side Beskitas, are possible opponents in the last-16 after Chelsea drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

The point saw Chelsea fall behind Roma in Group C, based on head-to-head record, after the Italian side beat Qarabag to send Atletico and Diego Costa into the Europa League.

Antonio Conte said toil of Premier League will make it hard to win the Champions League

Conte says Chelsea fear no-one in Europe’s elite club competition, but reckons the strength in depth of the domestic league makes winning the European Cup difficult for English clubs.

‘With five teams to go through to the next round means the level of this league is very high,’ said Conte, speaking ahead of Liverpool’s bid to progress on Wednesday night and with Manchester City, United and Tottenham already confirmed group winners.

‘Don’t forget here this season is very tough. You have to play a lot of games, but when you arrive at the final stage to play for quarter-finals, semi-finals the English teams have a lot of games in their legs. For this reason I think it could be problematic to win (the Champions League).’

English teams will not be able to be meet in Monday’s draw, under UEFA regulations.

Chelsea were the most recent English team to reach the final, winning in 2012, and Eden Hazard reckons Chelsea have what it takes to progress in the competition.

Hazard told BT Sport Football: ‘It’s not a problem. We are Chelsea. We can face any team.

‘We know PSG and Barcelona, they are very good. But we are Chelsea and we have to be ready for everything. We can do everything.’

Conte added: ‘You must be ready to face the best teams. Our opponent won’t be happy to play against us.’

The Blues were already through but needed a win to secure top spot.

Saul Niguez’s header gave Atletico the lead. Chelsea had chances, with Jan Oblak frustrating Alvaro Morata and Andreas Christensen heading wide before Hazard’s run forced Stefan Savic to turn the ball into his own net.

Substitute Willian might have won it for Chelsea, who instead had to settle for a draw.

Atletico have pedigree in the tournament. Diego Simeone’s visitors won 3-1 at Chelsea in April 2014 to advance to the final of this competition and had reached at least the quarter-finals in the last four seasons.

Now they are in Europe’s second-tier competition after costly draws with Qarabag.

Simeone said: ‘I wouldn’t say it’s a failure, because we knew this could happen.

‘We have no excuses. The responsibility is ours. We managed to get more points off the team which finished top than the team who finished bottom. It’s difficult to explain.’