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Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has warned Chelsea not to take Tuesday’s Champions League opponents Valencia lightly.
The Spanish club has been ripped apart by internal wrangling after the sacking of popular manager Marcelino five days ago.
Valencia’s furious players refused on Monday night to appear alongside new coach Albert Celades, who opened his reign with a 5-2 hammering at Barcelona on Sunday, at the mandatory Champions League pre-match press conference at Stamford Bridge.
Kepa said, according to Daily Express: “Valencia are always going to be a dangerous team.
“The circumstances in terms of changing their coach are not the best to prepare for a Champions League game – but at times those circumstances can make you a more dangerous proposition – so I’m expecting the best type of Valencia performance.
“They have world class players. I recently spent time with them as part of the Spanish national team.
“They weren’t expecting this – but Valencia is a team which is very compact and they know how to defend well and counter attack.”
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard also warned: “I am aware of what’s going on but it doesn’t affect my approach. We are going up against a team that have fantastic quality.”
Lampard added: “My experience of moments like this is that when there is an issue as a collective group against the outside world, generally it makes a group tighter as players. I have been in similar situations.
“Sometimes it can be a positive as much as a negative on the pitch. We will be ready for a team, even if they have their issues off the pitch, who will be determined to come here and do well.”