Tuesday 22 October 2019

Chelsea learn from Liverpool loss

Mateo Kovacic is on loan at Chelsea from Real Madrid. Photo: PA
Mateo Kovacic is on loan at Chelsea from Real Madrid. Photo: PA

Matt McGeehan

Mateo Kovacic warned against complacency as Chelsea look to confirm their place in the Europa League knockout stages in Belarus.

Chelsea will be confirmed in first place with two rounds of matches to go if they win at BATE Borisov tonight and the other Group L game, between Vidi and PAOK in Budapest, is drawn.

Maurizio Sarri has left Alvaro Morata, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso at home, but Eden Hazard has travelled despite only just recovering from a back problem.

N'Golo Kante was a late call-up, after Cesc Fabregas was left at home after reporting a fever on Wednesday morning.

Kovacic acknowledged that Liverpool's plight at Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday provided a cautionary tale. Liverpool won 4-0 at Anfield, but lost 2-0 in Serbia.

"I watched the game, Liverpool struggled a lot," the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder said. "The most important thing is we need to be prepared so that what happened to Liverpool doesn't happen to us."

BATE Borisov v Chelsea, live, Virgin Media/BT Sport, 5.55

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