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Chelsea news: Maurizio Sarri could issue Eden Hazard ‘cop out’ at Malmo – pundit

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That is the view of Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas, who says that the upcoming FA Cup game with Manchester United on Monday is priority.

The Blues travel to Sweden on the back on a terrible recent away record in the Premier League.

They have lost their last three away league games 2-0, 4-0 and 6-0, and have looked shaky all over the pitch.

Sarri has admitted recently that he has been struggling to motivate his team and that looks to be rubbing off in their results on the pitch.

Chelsea travel to Malmo on Thursday for their Europa League last-32 first leg (Pic: GETTY)

A heavy loss to Manchester City on Sunday contributed to Chelsea moving out of the Premier League top four for the first time in weeks.

Wins for United and Arsenal meant the Blues finished the weekend in sixth spot.

And so with Champions League football not guaranteed next season, can Sarri afford to take the Europa League lightly this campaign?

The winner of the competition will be handed a place in next season’s Champions League but Nicholas thinks that Sarri is more interested in the FA Cup.

“These are the games Eden Hazard normally gets a rest”

Charlie Nicholas

“These are the games Eden Hazard normally gets a rest,” he told Sky Sports. “Chelsea face Manchester United in the FA Cup.

“It might be the cop-out that Sarri requires. He has the Carabao Cup final, but is he looking forward to it after Sunday?

“It would be a happy return beating United. I think he will go with a soft-option team.

“Where has Andreas Christensen been? He was playing all the time and now he has been bombed out.

“How does Ruben Loftus-Cheek feel being put on at 4-0, 5-0 down? I think Olivier Giroud might play, but the others in there I could not tell you.

“It is just about Chelsea getting back on the road again, and I think they will get there.

“They will be saying let’s get a result in Malmo and see where it takes us.”

The Blues face Malmo at 8pm UK time on Thursday night.



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