Maurizio Sarri provided a positive update on Cesc Fabregas’s condition at today’s press conference but had less good news about three of his other players ahead of the visit of Cardiff City.
After a fortnight without a game because of international football, tomorrow Sarri is aiming to lead his charges to a fifth consecutive league victory against the Welsh side. As well as looking ahead to what he expects to be a tough test at the Bridge, Sarri also answered questions on Ethan Ampadu, John Terry and the Chelsea captaincy.
First, though, he was asked if any of his players would not be available for selection…
‘The best news is that Fabregas is now very well,’ Sarri said. ‘He has been training with the team during the week, so now he only has to improve his physical condition.
‘In a few days, one week, he will be ready to play. At the moment Fabregas is able to be on the bench. I want to speak to him. Maybe it’s better for him to have two days of training.
‘Yesterday there were some problems with a fever and sore throat for Emerson and Zappacosta, and a little problem after the match with the national team for Loftus-Cheek, with the right tibia.
‘I don’t know today the situation because I have to speak with the doctor. I don’t know if he’ll be able to play tomorrow. I have to see the last training session.’
Ethan Ampadu impressed while on international duty with Wales. He turns 18 today
‘I am very happy with him. At the moment it’s not easy for me to give space to everyone. I have 28 players. I hope in the future I will be able to give him space, to give a space to Hudson-Odoi, to Loftus-Cheek, because they are very young and they are the future of the club.’
Sarri was asked who he currently sees as title candidates
‘At the moment I can answer City or Liverpool. We need another step to be at the same level. I think this season is too soon, but I hope not. The gap was 30 points at the beginning of the season. to cover 30 points in only one season is very difficult.
‘We need to improve, and we can improve. My feeling is that now we are not a very solid team in the defensive phase. My feeling during training is that this team can improve.’
Cardiff head to west London looking for their first victory of the season
‘Tomorrow will be a very difficult game. Mentally the match after the break is very difficult; materially because we will play against a very physical team. If we want to take the points, we will need a very good performance tomorrow. It will be a very difficult game for everybody who plays Cardiff.'
Sarri confirmed he is yet to name his club captain
‘I have my idea, I have decided, but before telling you my decision I would like to speak to the players and the club. In this moment it’s not possible so for the moment the captain is Azpilicueta. I will tell you the final decision after I will be able to talk with the players and the club.’
Some media outlets have speculated on John Terry’s future with our former skipper this week turning down a move to Spartak Moscow
‘Last time I spoke to him he told me he wants to play for another season. That was about a week ago. I don’t know now the situation.
‘Chelsea is his home. I am open to the idea [of him returning], of course. For sure he would be a point of reference for me, for everybody I think.
‘I don’t know if there is a chance; he told me he wants to play. It’s up to him. If he wants to play for another season, it’s right he tries to play. If he wants to help us, I am really very happy.’