STUBBORN SARRI WON’T START GIROUD AGAINST BURNLEY DESPITE HIS RECENT GOOD FORM

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Olivier Giroud is unlikely to face Burnley despite his improved recent form. The 32-year-old scored a goal and provided an assist in Chelsea’s 4-3 win over Slavia Prague on Thursday.

Giroud has only started seven Premier League games this season with Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri first preferring Alvaro Morata and now Gonzalo Higuain to the Frenchman.

Giroud complained last week that he wanted to play more if he is to remain at the club next season.

The 32-year-old striker is the Europa League top scorer with ten goals.

Sarri hinted ahead of the game against Burnley later today that Giroud won’t start.

Asked whether Giroud had a point about lack of game time, Sarri said: “But Giroud played the match number 39 (against Slavia). Thirty-nine! Not number nine… 39! 39!”

When it was then pointed out that Giroud had started in considerably less than 39 of his appearances, Sarri added: “Starting games? With 19 or 20 I don’t remember. He is playing because he is very useful for us, like in 70 minutes against Slavia. Very, very useful.

“He played really very well but he needs to recover more than the other players because he is 90 kilos and so after the match he needs time to recover, only for this.”

Sarri also urged his players to continue fighting for a top-four place despite reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League.

“We have to try in both ways,” Sarri said. “It is not time to choose. It’s really very difficult to stay in the top four of the Premier League. The Europa League at this point you cannot expect something easy.

“I have played two times in Champions League and it’s clear it’s the most important competition for clubs in Europe and as a consequence in the world.”

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OTONY
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