MX23RW : Thursday, November 15 08:06:05
Nov 8, 2018 at 5.55pm UK at ‚ÄčBorisov Arena (Barysaw (Borisov))
BATEBATE Borisov
0-1
Chelsea
FT(HT: 0-0)
Giroud (53')

Maurizio Sarri hoping to give Eden Hazard extended run out against BATE

Maurizio Sarri hoping to give Eden Hazard extended run out against BATE
© Reuters
Hazard recently returned after missing three games with a back injury.

Maurizio Sarri intends to field Eden Hazard as Chelsea seek a fourth win from four Europa League Group L games at BATE Borisov on Thursday night, but in-form striker Alvaro Morata has been prescribed rest.

Hazard missed three games with a back injury, returning as a substitute in last Sunday's Premier League win over Crystal Palace, which featured two goals from Morata.

The Spain striker has five goals in his last six Blues appearances, missing a hat-trick chance against Palace, but Sarri opted to leave Morata at Chelsea's Surrey training base ahead of Sunday's league clash with Everton.

Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata has hit form for Chelsea (Adam Davy/PA)

"He played three matches in a row, so I thought it was better for him to stay in Cobham to rest and to have two good training sessions," the Blues head coach said.

"It's normal for a player to play three or four matches and then rest. Otherwise, we can have a squad with 13 or 14 players."

The Italian reverted to his native tongue in an animated explanation, apparently riled by his decision being questioned.

David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso were also left in London, while Cesc Fabregas was a late withdrawal with illness, necessitating a call-up for N'Golo Kante, who otherwise would have been rested too.

Maurizio Sarri
Maurizio Sarri believes rotation is necessary (Mike Egerton/PA)

On Hazard travelling, Sarri added: "There is not any risk, otherwise he would stay in Cobham, of course.

"We thought for him it's better to play, not for 90 minutes, but to play after two weeks without training.

"In the last match he played only for 30 minutes. The best for him is he will play 45, 50 minutes."

Chelsea will be confirmed in first place with two rounds of matches to go if they win at BATE Borisov and the other Group L game, between Vidi and PAOK in Budapest, is drawn.

Mateo Kovacic warned against complacency, though, after watching Liverpool lose at Red Star Belgrade.

"I watched the game, Liverpool struggled a lot," the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder said.

"The most important thing is we need to be prepared so that what happened to Liverpool doesn't happen to us."


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Mateo Kovacic in action for Chelsea on August 18, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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