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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has confirmed he will “have to” make several changes to the starting line-up for tomorrow’s Europa League clash against Hungarian side FC Vidi at Stamford Bridge. The Italian confirmed he will pick at least five players, who did not find space so far in the campaign.

When asked if Eden Hazard and Callum Hudson-Odoi could start together in Chelsea’s attacking third, Sarri said: “For sure not both, or Hazard or Odoi. I don’t know at the moment. As I said I would like to see every player in the period from the first international break and the second”.

Sarri confirmed tomorrow could be “time to see” Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield. On the England international he added: “He was unlucky in the last three weeks after the match with the national team. He had a problem, in the last five days he has been better so I think that he is able to play tomorrow. 

The pressure is normal for a player here, so also Ruben needs to get used to the pressure. It is normal for a player of our starting XI to have pressure from the club, the papers, television, from the manager”.

The Chelsea manager also gave an injury update on winger Pedro, before assessing Cesc Fabregas “has to improve the physical condition”.

He said: “I have to speak to Pedro who is doing better like Loftus-Cheek, but I think that tomorrow every player is available. I have to change five, six, seven players. I don’t know at the moment. I want to see training in the afternoon and to see the last training tomorrow morning.”

“I think Cesc [Fabregas] played very well in the last 30 minutes in Greece as well as for 90 minutes in Liverpool. He has to improve the physical condition of course but I think that he is a great option in this position. Not changing his style too much because Cesc is very good in moving the ball like Jorginho so we don’t need to change the way of football with Fabregas.”

 

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Sarri conference

Chelsea defeated Liverpool on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup third round and now the two teams will meet again tomorrow at Stamford Bridge in a Premier League game.

According to Blues’ boss Maurizio Sarri, however, Wednesday’s result won’t give Chelsea any advantage over the opponents: “I don’t think so. Maybe they can increase their determination after Wednesday”. Sarri said during his press conference. “It will be a difficult match tomorrow. I think they are ready now to win the Premier”.

Sarri also provided some updates on Chelsea’s injury situation: “Christensen was not injured, he only had stomach ache during the match”. the Italian manager explained. “Pedro yesterday had the last part of the training with the team like Rudiger and Loftus-Cheek. We need to see the last training”.

Also, Sarri spoke about Eden Hazard, praising him, but also confirming, as his assistant Gianfranco Zola said some days ago, that he could still improve: “He’s unique. It’s very difficult to compare him to another player”. Sarri said. “He is one of the best. I’m absolutely convinced he can improve. I think we’ve only seen 75-80% of his potential. If he can improve, he can be the best in the world”.

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NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Chelsea Assistant Manager, Gianfranco Zola gives instructions during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on August 26, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Assistant manager Gianfranco Zola was on press conference ahead of Carabao Cup clash against Liverpool today and was obviously asked to give some thoughts on tomorrow’s game.

The Italian man and club’s legend told journalists: “The game on Saturday is going to be huge, the type of game means a lot. But I think starting from tomorrow it’s going to be competitive. We are greedy, we want to win both of them if we can”.

“We have a lot of players, we didn’t do a big pre-season, so these games can serve also as a pre-season, to give time to players like [Andreas] Christensen, [Gary] Cahill, who haven’t had opportunities to get games”.

Zola also provided an injury update on England international and former Crystal Palace midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek. 

‘Ruben has had an injection and is still recovering” he said.

“It is very unlikely he will be part of the game tomorrow. Same with Rudiger. Pedro is recovering very well, but it’s tough for them to be part of the game tomorrow”.

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West Ham picked up their first points of the season after beating Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park last time out, while Chelsea could extend their winning streak to remain on top of Premier League table level on points with Liverpool.

Team News

WEST HAM – Marco Arnautovic remains a doubt for the Hammers with also Javier Hernandez potentially sidelined with a virus. Jack Wilshere has recently suffered an ankle injury (he also underwent surgery earlier this week) and won’t feature today.

CHELSEA – Winger Pedro Rodriguez has yet to recover from the collision with PAOK keeper Paschalakis on Thursday and won’t be in the squad to face the London rivals. On the other hand, both David Luiz and Mateo Kovacic are likely to be fit as well as Blues’ star Eden Hazard.

Predicted Line Ups

WEST HAM – Fabianski, Masuaku, Diop, Balbuena, Zabaleta, Rice, Anderson, Obiang, Noble, Yarmolenko, Perez

CHELSEA – Arrizabalaga, Azpillicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Hazard, Giroud

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Chelsea winger Pedro limped off in agony after a collision with the PAOK goalkeeper in Europa League’s first game in Greece yesterday.

Speaking after the clash, manager Maurizio Sarri has given an update on the Spaniard, whose injury seems to be “not a very serious one”. 

He said: “I don’t know. The problem is shoulder, but I don’t know exactly the situation.

I have spoken with the doctor, but only for a few seconds. The doctor told me that probably it’s not a very serious injury.”

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Chelsea are 1-0 up at half-time in their Uefa Europa League opener vs Paok in Thessaloniki.

The Blues’ goal was scored by Willian with the assist provided by Ross Barkley.

Maurizio Sarri‘s side had many other chances to score but Alvaro Morata and Pedro missed them.

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Chelsea get the upper hand in their Premier League clash against Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge after completing a massive turnaround with a hat-trick from Eden Hazard and Willian‘s fine shot in the 81st minute.

Maurizio Sarri‘s men conceded an early goal as Bamba put the ball beyond Kepa from a close range, before Olivier Giroud linked-up with Eden Hazard twice to put the Blues in front before halftime.

Blues’ latest signing Mateo Kovacic was forced off the pitch with an alleged leg injury (Ross Barkley replacing him), while Willian came off the bench with 30 minutes left to go, replacing Pedro.

The Brazilian star ensured Chelsea a penalty, which was converted into a goal from Eden Hazard, who’s now the fourth player to score more than one hat-trick in the club’s history. The Blues cruised to a 4-1 win after Willian put the ball past Etheridge with a curled effort.

Maurizio Sarri joins Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and Craig Shakespeare in the list of the managers who managed to win their opening five games in Premier League.

 

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After a brilliant pre-season, when Chelsea‘s manager Maurizio Sarri included him in the starting XI in various occasions, Callum Hudson-Odoi hasn’t played a minute in the Premier League until now.

However, Maurizio Sarri claimed, speaking to Chelsea official website, that the Blues youngster will be very useful and he will get his chances as the London club have, after the international break, to play not only in the Premier League, but also in the Uefa Europa League and in the Carabao League Cup.

Pedro has played the first three games, I started him, but on Saturday I thought it was better to play at the beginning with Willian but at the end I think I am lucky because if a coach can choose either Pedro or Willian he is a lucky coach”. Sarri explained. “Pedro is a great player and it is normal for him to score but I am really very lucky because Hazard, Pedro, Moses and Willian in the same position, that’s very lucky and I don’t want to forget Hudson-Odoi.”

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Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has been recently linked with a move to Olympique Marseille, who also failed to land Mario Balotelli from OGC Nice in the summer transfer market window.

The Frenchman came off the bench in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth last time out as he provided an assist for teammate Pedro Rodriguez in the second half.

Also Maurizio Sarri has praised the former Arsenal star despite he has not been given many chances with the Blues so far. And Giroud told French outlet Telefoot: “I still have one year of contract, plus possibly another year. The board of the club have been positive in terms of giving me it.

“I do not know yet, we’ll see how things are in April or May, but I won’t exclude any possibility. We’ll see.”

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Chelsea win 2-0 over Bournemouth and remain top of the table with Liverpool, who won 2-1 at Leicester today at lunch-time.

Maurizio Sarri’s lads hadn’t a smooth game and the Cherries missed two incredible chances to take the lead: with Wilson in the first half and with former Blues defender Akè in the beginning of the second part.

Marcos Alonso had produced Chelsea most dangerous chance in the end of the first half, when he hit the post with a great shot from the distance, but it was Pedro, who replaced an impalpable Alvaro Morata, who scored the first goal of the game at 75′ after a nice build-up with Marcos Alonso and Olivier Giroud.

It was a knock-out smack for Bournemouth, who barely reacted.

Eden Hazard sealed the game with five minutes to go, the Belgian scored his second goal of the season.

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