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Maurizio Sarri excited by winter schedule; wary of Crystal Palace threat

Written by: Neil Talnikar

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The former Napoli boss praised his Palace counterpart Roy Hodgson ahead of their match at Selhurst Park.

As the Premier League will see the last round of fixtures in 2018 being played on Saturday, teams are lining up to end the year on a high. Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, who is new to winter fixtures such as these, is quite excited with the schedule as he seems to be liking it.

The Italian spoke to Sky Sports regarding the winter schedule and looked wary of its intensity. “I like to play in the Christmas days. I think it's very difficult to play every three days. I think it's very difficult to play here, but I think it's fantastic," Sarri said.

The former Napoli gaffer spoke about an unusual pre-season experience that he had as he arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer. “This season we had a very unusual pre-season. I have no experience of this kind of pre-season. Then we had three weeks of working, then from the end of August we started to play every three days," he told.

“So, we have no time for training, we have no time for improving the team, we have no time for improving single players,” he added.

Moreover, the 59-year-old also spoke about the threat that Crystal Palace will pose when his team travel to Selhurst Park for their next match. Sarri admitted that he wouldn’t underestimate the Eagles, especially since they defeated defending champions Manchester City last weekend at the Etihad Stadium.


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“They are really very dangerous because in the last three matches at home they were able to not concede a goal to the opponents. They are very dangerous on the counter-attacks, so for us they are a very dangerous team," he quipped.

Sarri also suggested that he may have to apply tactical changes against the Eagles saying, “For the first time against City, they played 4-5-1. Usually they pay with a 4-4-2. I think we can repeat the 4-5-1 they played against City."

Furthermore, he went on to heap praise on Palace boss Roy Hodgson as both of them worked in Italy a few years ago. While Sarri managed various low-key clubs such as Pescara, Hellas Verona and Empoli, Hodgson was working with other Serie A clubs like Udinese and Inter Milan.

“He was and is a very good coach. I remember him in Italy in Inter and the second time in Udinese. I remember very well and he was a very good coach. I saw his team during the season and they are improving a lot I think,” the Chelsea boss concluded.

Published: Sat Dec 29, 2018 04:38 PM IST

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