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Ahead of Chelsea’s Europa League opener against PAOK in Greece on Thursday, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has warned the players to expect a difficult game.

Despite admitting PAOK are a good side, Sarri also insisted Chelsea will seek to control the game by dominating possession.

Asked what he knows about PAOK, Sarri said: “I hope to know everything I don’t know.  I have seen the four matches played by PAOK in the Champions League play-offs and my staff has seen the match of the Greek championship so I think to know everything but I don’t know.

“We want to play with our characteristic to control the match with our possession but I know tomorrow will be difficult. Not as somebody told me for the atmosphere in the stadium but it will be difficult because they are a good team.

“They have won against Basel and Spartak Moscow and won in Portugal against Benfica so they are a good team and we have to do a very important match if we want to gain points.”

Sarri, who is known for his smoking habit, isn’t allowed to smoke during games in England but it is legal to smoke in stadiums in Greece.

Asked if he will smoke during the game against PAOK, Sarri added: “In Greece it is legal so I don’t know [if I will]. I don’t like to speak about the smoking. I like to smoke but I know that I am not an example for the children.”

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