Belfast Telegraph

Sarri not worried about Morata form as Chelsea prepare to face Arsenal

The Spanish striker has struggled to score goals for the Blues.

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has no concerns over the form of Alvaro Morata and expects the Spain striker to find confidence and goals.

Morata scored eight goals in eight competitive appearances at the start of last season, but his form has dipped alarmingly since.

The 25-year-old has one Premier League goal in 15 appearances in the competition in 2018, plus two in the FA Cup.

I am not worried about Morata Maurizio Sarri

“I am not worried about Morata. Morata is a very good player,” said Sarri, speaking ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal.

“I think in this moment he needs only to gain confidence. But he’s a great player.

“He needs to gain confidence. But he’s improving. I’m not really worried about him.

“He needs to score. As do all strikers in the world, I think.”

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Eden Hazard, right, and Alvaro Morata could strike up a fine partnership for Chelsea (Nick Potts/PA Images)

Morata and Eden Hazard could have a potent partnership.

Hazard has two years remaining on his Chelsea contract and has been continually linked with a move to Real Madrid.

The Spanish transfer window is open until August 31 and Sarri repeated his belief, stated prior to the opening-day win at Huddersfield, that Hazard will remain at Chelsea this season.

“I have spoken with him very often in the last 10 days,” Sarri added.

“He has never said to me anything about this. I am sure Eden will be with us for this season.”

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Unai Emery’s Arsenal and Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea met in pre-season in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA Images)

Saturday will be Sarri and Arsenal boss Unai Emery’s first London derby.

It was put to Sarri that former Paris St Germain boss Emery’s side struggled against champions Manchester City last Sunday.

“For everybody it’s difficult against Manchester City,” Sarri said.

“I think Emery is a very good coach. He won three times the Europa League, he won in France with PSG.

“I think Arsenal this season will be competitive. I think they will be able to fight for a place in Champions League.”

As for Chelsea, Sarri’s expectations are measured.

“I think in this moment in English football there is a club above the others and this club is Manchester City,” he added.

“We have to try to do our best. We have to try to reach 101 per cent of our potential. Then we have to see.

“I don’t know now what can happen. My feeling is we can be a very good team.

“We started to work all together only 10 days ago. We have to work, we have to improve. In my opinion, in two months we can be a very good team.”

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Cesc Fabregas is out of Chelsea’s clash with Arsenal with a knee injury (Mike Egerton/PA Images)

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas is missing against his former club, due to a knee injury. The Spain playmaker could be back at Newcastle next week.

Mateo Kovacic, who is on loan from Real Madrid, could make his debut.

It will be Sarri’s first competitive game at Stamford Bridge.

Sarri said: “I’m looking forward to it because I will be the coach of one of the most important clubs in Europe, in one of the most important stadiums in Europe, for my first London derby.”

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