Frank Lampard says the Blues have suffered because of their short pre-season, but the Spanish boss argued his side have had it just as rough
The Blues got as far as the round of 16 last term before they were knocked out by eventual winners Bayern Munich, with the German giants thrashing them 7-1 on aggregate.
Frank Lampard’s team have taken just eight points from their first five Premier League games this season, having surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Southampton on Saturday.
The Chelsea boss put his side’s defensive struggles down to their pre-season campaign being cut short as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
But Lopetegui says his own outfit, who face Chelsea in their opening Champions League game on Tuesday, have just as much reason to complain about a lack of time to prepare for the new season.
“I can’t comment on what he said but if anyone has had an atypical pre-season then it is us. We have been saying this since everything started amid this complex situation,” he said at a press conference before the meeting at Stamford Bridge.
“I don’t think you can look at these things too much and I think you just need to focus on adapting as best as possible with solutions.
“I think everybody has had a disrupted pre-season. Some had 12 days off. I think we need to adapt to the new reality as quickly as possible.
“Something that can help us is the excitement we feel when we get to compete in a competition like the Champions League, which is extremely demanding and exciting.
“We are against one of the teams that can win the competition in Chelsea. We need to perform well tomorrow, that’s the only thing we can do.”
He continued: “Yes, it is going to be a tough ask, every match is difficult, especially when you are talking about the Champions League and playing against a team such as Chelsea.
“But our intention is to win, like we do in every stadium and every match. We have to perform well, I don’t think the start of the season counts for much at the moment.
“They are a great side, with fantastic players and have performed very well this season. Lately they have been playing sensationally and they are going to force us to produce our best performance both defensively and offensively. We need to perform very well tomorrow.
“Chelsea like to dominate the ball, as we do, so I think it is a match between teams who have two different types of players, but who have the same idea – which is to dominate games. That’s what we need to be prepared for.”