Maurizio Sarri doesn’t expect Saturday to be easy.
Despite being up against a struggling Newcastle United who have won once in their last nine matches, the Chelsea boss claims it will be tough.
Add in only one Newcastle win in the league at Stamford Bridge in these past 33 years and it doesn’t have the look of a tough match.
However, Maurizio Sarri insists it is, referring to Newcastle’s away form being better than at St James Park.
It is all relative though, Rafa’s players have picked up seven points at home and eleven away, whilst Chelsea have picked up 22 points at home and the same away.
For all they dominated possession at St James Park, Chelsea rarely looked dangerous. It took a dodgy penalty with 14 minutes remaining for them to get a goal.
Even then a very good Newcastle goal scored by Joselu was only prevented winning a home point by a cruel Yedlin own goal with three minutes to go.
Newcastle could frustrate Chelsea on Saturday for a long time but as usual the question is the same – but can Rafa’s team provide any threat at the other end?
Maurizio Sarri pre-Newcastle press conference:
“This match will be very difficult.
“Newcastle are doing better away.
“It is a difficult opponent away and I think the match will be the same.
“I hope of course to score in the first 30 minutes but if the match will be the same (as at St James Park earlier this season) then we have to be patient.
“We have played very well in the offensive phase but we need to improve in the box, attacking the space.
“We need to score, of course, and we need to solve this problem.
“In the last match (0-0 v Southampton) we played very well, with continuity, with a great performance from the physical point of view, but we didn’t score.
“Now we have this problem and we need to solve this problem.”
“Loftus is out at the moment.
“Yesterday Alvaro had training with his team-mates so we have to see the last training today, i hope he will be able to play (against Newcastle).”
“As you know very well I am not in control of the transfer market but in my opinion we need two players, but then it is up to the club.
“As you can understand, I cannot tell you where (I want to strengthen).
“The club knows my opinion, and my opinion is important for the club, but I cannot tell you my opinion.
“I think he (Fabregas) needs to go at the moment for his mental condition, he is not able to play I think.
“Of course if Morata was to go to another club then we need a replacement but at the moment he is here, he has to think only to play.
“There are 300 players involved in the market and they need to think only to the next match, otherwise it is impossible to play.”