Maurizio Sarri discusses fitness of Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante after international break and considers Cardiff challenge to Chelsea

Ahead of a testing trip to Cardiff City this weekend, Maurizio Sarri reported on the recovery required by some of his busy international players like N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard, and the boss also analysed our chances of making the top four.

Sarri has long admitted he is not a fan of international football and he reemphasised that today when asked if the success enjoyed by the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ross Barkley, Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud in the past 10 days was beneficial to Chelsea.

‘Not for me, because we have some players a little bit tired,’ he replied.

‘Kante, Giroud, Hazard played three matches in seven days. Now we are not in October and they are more tired. We need to recover.

‘I had the whole squad together only yesterday. I saw during training that some were a little bit tired.’

Sarri reiterated he doesn’t know about Hazard’s future

‘You have two possibilities: you can ask Hazard or the club. I am not in charge of the market. What is important is Hazard in this moment. We need him to be at the top for the last two months. I want to respect his decision, but I don’t know at the moment if he has decided or not.’

Cardiff are in good form at home while we lost our last league outing away to Everton

‘Unfortunately we have to wait to see the reaction during the match. We are working well in training, but the reaction in the match is the only important thing.

‘It will be very difficult because they are physical, dangerous in the opposition box and from set-pieces, so we have to defend very high, otherwise it will be a problem for us.’

The top-four race remains tight and Sarri said what he thinks the strategy must be now

‘The last period of the Premier League will be very hard for every team. I think we can reach the top four even if we are not able to win eight matches in a row.

‘We need to think match by match. The best way is to be focused on the next match.’

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