SARRI ON HUDSON-ODOI AND LOFTUS-CHEEK’S CHANCES OF STARTING AGAINST WEST HAM

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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri insists there are no guarantees Chelsea duo Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will start against West Ham on Monday despite both players impressing in the 3-0 victory over Brighton on Sunday.

Hudson-Odoi, who made his first Premier League start in the match, set up Olivier Giroud for the opener while Loftus-Cheek scored Chelsea’s third and provided the assist for Eden Hazard’s goal.

Asked if Hudson-Odoi will start against West Ham, Sarri said: “I don’t know.

“I have to decide who is going to play against West Ham and who is going to play Slavia.”

When then asked about Loftus-Cheek, who was forced off against Brighton in the 82nd minute, Sarri replied: “Maybe (he will start on Monday), but we need to check every day the condition of his back.

“This morning, he had only a recovery session because he needs time to recover after a match. The problem in this moment is only that, probably, he’s not able to play for 90 minutes.

“No. I don’t think [the back issue is a big concern]. It’s a problem, of course, but I think our doctor is able to take under control the situation.”

Sarri added: “I have to consider that, in this moment of the season, we need to change. We played 51 matches and then because, in the last part of the season, I want 20 players completely involved in our targets.”

Meanwhile, Sarri has been warned against dropping Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi.

“I don’t think he can be taken out of the team,” Danny Higginbotham told Sky Sports.

“What I love about Hudson-Odoi is that he stretches the game so much.

“If you’re a full-back, you don’t want to leave any space in behind, so naturally you drop, and that means the rest of the back four have to drop as well.

“He creates space between the opposition midfield and defence, and that’s really difficult for midfielders to deal with.

“They don’t want to drop too deep, and it’s difficult for the centre halves because they don’t want to push up too high.

“It’s not only Hudson-Odoi’s individuality that’s excellent for Chelsea in the way he’s so direct, but it’s how he actually creates space for other players in the team from the runs he makes.”

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