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Sarri heaps further praise on Hazard ahead of 'dangerous' game in Prague

By Opta
Chelsea star Eden Hazard may be rested against Slavia Prague

London, April 11: Maurizio Sarri says he wants to avoid losing key players such as Eden Hazard as he dreams of making Chelsea the best team in Europe.

The Belgian attacker has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid and Sarri admitted after the player's starring role against West Ham on Monday (April 8) that it would be "impossible" to find another Hazard.

Asked whether the 28-year-old is the best in the world during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Europa League clash with Slavia Prague, Sarri said: "It's difficult to say of course, Eden is one of the best.

"It's hard to say he is the best but, in my opinion, our dream must be to become the best team in Europe and not to change teams."

The clash in Prague will be played with one stand closed, as ordered by UEFA following a series of incidents in the last-32 tie against Genk, but Sarri is only interested in what happens on the pitch.

"The match is on the pitch, and so... but we need to be careful," he explained.

"In my opinion, this is a very dangerous match for us. They scored six goals in two matches against Sevilla [in the last 16], and are really very dangerous. A fast team, so we need to be very, very compact and to defend really very well.

"They are dangerous, especially on crosses where they attack the box with five or six players, and are dangerous on counter-attacks. It won't be easy for us tomorrow."

The trip to the Czech Republic comes just three days after the win over West Ham at Stamford Bridge and Sarri says he will be forced to make changes due to the short turnaround, with Hazard potentially rested with Sunday's Premier League fixture away at Liverpool in mind.

"I don't know because yesterday [Hazard] had only recovery training in the gym so I didn't see him," he said.

"This morning he was tired like the other players with 90 minutes and so I want to wait until tomorrow morning and I will decide.

"Slavia played on Saturday but we played Monday, I don't know why. We need to change five or six players."

However, despite the need to rotate, Sarri confirmed Danny Drinkwater will not be involved as the midfielder does not fit with the Italian's style of football.

"He has never played because in my opinion he is not suited to my system and my way of playing. I told him everything in August, he appreciated but decided to remain and so he knew very well the situation," Sarri said.

"I spoke with him in August when the market was open. I said to him to look for something different but he decided to stay. He is a good boy, a good player but he is not suitable for me."

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Story first published: Thursday, April 11, 2019, 0:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 11, 2019
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