Maurizio Sarri will spend only one hour preparing his players to face Manchester City in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final at Wembley, despite his job potentially resting on the result.
The Chelsea boss does not want to bombard his squad with information or fog their minds with memories of their 6-0 humiliation by City two weeks ago. It comes after Antonio Rudiger’s comments likening Sarri to a head teacher constantly talking to the squad. On Thursday Chelsea beat Malmo 3-0 to reach the Europa League last 16, where they face Dynamo Kiev, though the first half hour left Sarri concerned for his side’s mentality.
‘In this match, for 30 minutes, I saw a team very worried,’ Sarri said afterwards. ‘Without confidence. So I don’t want to press them. We will prepare for the match only on Saturday. I want to see something more free, so we’ll prepare the match in 60 minutes, no more.’
Sarri faces the sack if his team are embarrassed again on Sunday, and Chelsea have England assistant Steve Holland on a list of potential candidates to take over for the rest of the season. FA insiders, though, insist no approach has been made for Gareth Southgate’s No 2. Sarri believes it is unfair that he is deemed to be in a crisis compared to Arsenal under Unai Emery. The Gunners sit a place above Chelsea in fifth but only due to a higher goals tally, with both teams on 50 points and a plus-16 goal difference.
‘We’re one point from the top four, the same points as Arsenal. People say Arsenal are doing well, so we are doing a little bit better because we’re in a final. And yet our season is a disaster. I don’t understand,’ he said.
EPL: Chelsea finally tell Real Madrid how much to pay for Hazard
Real Madrid will have to pay a huge amount to sign forward, Eden Hazard, away from Premier League giants, Chelsea this summer.
The Spanish giants are eyeing Hazard as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who after nine years, left the Santiago Bernabeu for Juventus in an £88million deal last summer.
According to Belgian outlet, HLN, Chelsea wants at least £98.5million for Hazard after rejecting Real Madrid’s opening offer for the 28-year-old.
Hazard is a huge admirer of Zidane as a coach and named the French legend as his idol growing up.
The Belgium international has so far refused to sign a new long-term deal with Chelsea as he enters the final 12 months of his current contract at Stamford Bridge.
FA Cup semi-final fixtures revealed [See full draw]
Manchester City will play Brighton and Hove Albion in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
City came from two goals down to defeat Swansea City in the quarter-final on Saturday, while Brighton needed extra time to see off Millwall today.
Watford face Wolverhampton Wanderers, who eliminated Manchester United yesterday.
The games will take place over the weekend of April 6.
Both fixtures will be played at Wembley Stadium.
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