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Saturday 24 August 2019

Maurizio Sarri working hard to ensure Wolves do not repeat win over Chelsea

The Blues lost 2-1 at Molineux in December.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri (Steven Paston/PA)
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri (Steven Paston/PA)

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Maurizio Sarri has been studying footage of Chelsea’s Molineux collapse in an attempt to avoid another shock defeat to Wolves.

Sarri admits the Blues “stopped playing” having taken a first-half lead against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side on December 5.

The 60-year-old Italian, whose team were beaten 2-1 on that occasion, has dragged himself back from the brink of dismissal with three wins in nine days.

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Chelsea were beaten by Wolves in December (Nick Potts/PA)

And he is keen to avoid a fresh setback on Sunday which would dent Chelsea’s quest for Champions League qualification and prompt further questions about his future.

“I remember very well that, after the goal at 1-1, we stopped playing,” said Sarri.

“We stopped after 50, 55 minutes for 20 minutes at Wolverhampton, and that was enough to lose the game.

“We were in trouble and stopped completely to play. I need to study that match very well.”

We need to arrive in this match with the right level of preparation and mentality Maurizio Sarri

England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek made the most of a rare start with Chelsea’s 18th-minute opener in the West Midlands.

But Wolves, who are flying high in seventh spot following promotion last summer, hit back with two goals in five second-half minutes.

Despite only a single place separating the two clubs in the table, the Blues have a 13-point advantage and a game in hand.

Sarri’s side are expected to continue their recent upturn in results this weekend and he has urged his players to be focused and avoid complacency.

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“We need to arrive in this match with the right level of preparation and mentality,” he said.

“If you stop to play, you can lose against any team. If you stop to play against Manchester City, you can lose 6-0.

“When I speak about us improving our mentality and consistency, I am speaking about these problems.”

Loftus-Cheek, whose appearance at Molineux was his only league start of the season, has endured a frustrating campaign after impressing for his country at last summer’s World Cup.

He continues to battle a back issue but, according to his head coach, could be able to complete a full game later this month.

“At the moment, he’s not able to play for 90 minutes. His condition is improving,” said Sarri.

“His back is better and better, so I think in two or three weeks he will be ready to play for 90 minutes.”

PA Media

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