Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has hailed Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Tyneside on Sunday afternoon.
When Benitez left Napoli for Real Madrid in 2015, Sarri replaced the Spaniard as Napoli boss.
“I have to say thank you to Rafa,” Sarri said. “When I arrived in Naples I had the feeling that the team was almost ready to play my football.
“If I arrived after another coach it may have been more difficult for me.
“I have to say thank you to him. He’s a very good coach.
“On Sunday it will be very difficult for us. We know that our opponents are very dangerous.
“Chelsea lost 3-0 there last season but Manchester United and Arsenal also lost there.
“We know that on Sunday it will be a difficult game for us.”