Chelsea v Crystal Palace: Blues may take time to secure win


"Ruben came back from the World Cup and it was clear that the new manager, who hadn't even been appointed at that time, would probably want some time to assess him before he made a decision".

Hazard has missed Chelsea's last three fixtures and only makes the bench for Sunday's clash with Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

"The situation is that Drinkwater for me is not suitable for a midfield with two midfielders", Sarri said.

Chelsea lie third in the Premier League after 10 matches, only two points behind defending champions Manchester City and Liverpool, and are yet to taste defeat after scoring 24 goals and conceding just seven. In Maurizio Sarri's and Chelsea's position I'd have done exactly the same.

But when asked whether he had spoken to the Chelsea board about their transfer plans, Sarri said: "No, I didn't ask anything about it to my club because at the moment I think we can stay with these players and be competitive".

"And Moses is more suitable for playing like a wing-back than like a winger or a full-back".

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Such rotation was unheard of during his time at Napoli, but Sarri is keen to use the full depth of his squad given the demands of English football.

"But we've used 26 players in all competitions this season".

"I have to look at all competitions - 90 minutes is 90 minutes".

"If you look at December and January, you need to change also in the Premier League because we will play every three days in the Premier League, so we also need to change in this". In the future we need to become a very solid team. However, he did send a message to his club's loan group of 40 players that being on loan is better, if you haven't built up enough experience.

Sarri is surprised at his team's lofty position in the table having predicted they would encounter "problems" in the first half of the campaign, and remains adamant that they are some way short of achieving the defensive solidity that underpins truly elite sides.

Sarri will be looking to maintain his unbeaten start when Crystal Palace visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.