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Chelsea's post-season U.S. friendly 'not the best way' to prepare for Europa League final, claims Sarri

22:30 IST 10/05/2019
Maurizio Sarri Chelsea 2018-19
The Blues boss risks the wrath of his employers as he complained about the cost of playing a charity match that is close to the club owner's heart

Maurizio Sarri thinks Chelsea's post-season friendly against New England Revolution is not good preparation for their Europa League final after his side booked at trip to Baku to face Arsenal.

The 'Final Whistle on Hate' charity match against the MLS club will see players fly to Boston in the United States just 24 hours after their final Premier League match away at Leicester City followed by four days off to recover after the trip.

With their final on May 29, Sarri will have time to train his team but after making a trip back and forth across the Atlantic, they will then have to fly to farthest reaches of Europe to play in Baku against Premier League opponents.

The 60-year-old manager thinks that the upcoming fixture will add to the tiredness in his squad, as he saw the likes of N'Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Andreas Christensen all pick up injuries this month.

However, Sarri did admit he will enjoy it on a personal level, as it is for a good cause. 

“A problem? We go there for a good reason I think, so as a man I am very happy to go there," Sarri told reporters. "As a coach, of course, I am a little bit worried because I know very well that the team now needs rest. So it is not the best way to prepare the final, I think.

“Arsenal is not my problem. I have to look to my players, so I know very well that my players need to rest, and after four or five days they need to work for three or four days and then they need to prepare for the match. The match will be interesting and difficult.

“I want to speak to the physical staff, to the doctor and then we need to prepare the program. I think that they need three or four days completely in rest [after travelling to the U.S.]. I am not worried about the physical side. 

"I think it is more difficult to recover mentally because in a match like this one you spend, usually, a lot of energy and then, of course, you have to go down and then it is not easy to go up again.”

The Blues boss' comments may not please his superiors, including Roman Abramovich, who as a Jewish-Russian has pushed to quash antisemitic chanting in relation to Chelsea's rivals Tottenham through his multi-award winning 'Say No To Antisemitism' campaign.

Meanwhile, Sarri is still battling to win support among Chelsea's fan base despite having qualified for the Champions League and having made two finals in his first season in charge.

Chelsea are one match away from glory in Baku and Sarri believes it has turned into a good season, as he hopes to keep his job in west London this summer.

“I think that the season is really very good because we get to two finals, we finish in the top four so the season is very good," Sarri concluded. “Of course, in a final, you need to be lucky.

"It is more important to arrive in the final, but now we want to win and if we are able to win a trophy after the top four then I think we can finish the season in a very strong way. We deserve to win.

"We deserve to win because we went in trouble and if you come in trouble here in England, in Premier League, it is very difficult to get the top four in three months. So we are able to do it and I think now we deserve, as a group, to win a trophy.”

Sarri was then asked to rate his club's season out of 10, as matches against Leicester and Arsenal close out the 2018-19 season.

“Eight. But I don’t like a mark. It’s a long way from the school!”