Home Sports Chelsea v West Ham preview: Blues boss Maurizio Sarri expects Callum Hudson-Odoi...

Chelsea v West Ham preview: Blues boss Maurizio Sarri expects Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to play a key role in the season – football

Chelsea will receive West Ham on Monday night as their bid for a top-four finish in the Premier League intensifies.

Both young English talents sparkled in Chelsea & # 39; s 3-0 win over Brighton in midweek, but Sarri rejected suggestions he had pushed by club bosses to give both men more playing time.

Asked if he was under pressure to select Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek, Sarri replied: "No. It's up to the players, they improve.

"They are fresh at this time of the season, so I think they are very important to us right now.

"But at the start of the season, Odoi had great potential but was not ready to play in the Premier League.

"Loftus the same, he only had to adapt to my football, to improve tactically for my football. Then he had a lot of problems with his back, so we had to wait for him, but now they are fresh, they are ready "

Abramovich still involved in Chelsea

Sarri also gave his opinion about the commitment of owner Roman Abramovich to Chelsea after his recent struggles with the British government.

The billionaire owner of Chelsea has chosen not to pay for a corporate hospitality box on Stamford Bridge, as evidenced by the accounts submitted to Companies House.

Abramovich has adopted Israeli citizenship, which means that he can visit the UK for a visa-free period of up to six months, but cannot work in the country.

The 52-year-old has owned Chelsea since 2003, but recent problems with his British visa have led to speculation that he would like to sell the club – although head coach Sarri maintains that Abramovich retains a practical role at Stamford Bridge.

"He has some problems now, but he is involved with the club, with the team," said Sarri. "He is the owner and so he can influence the technical staff, the club, the players, everything I think.

"Also in Naples (the former club of Sarri) the president Aurelio (De Laurentiis) was not present every day on the training field, he was in the training area once a month, not anymore, so it is really comparable."

Sarri revealed that his assistant Gianfranco Zola speaks more regularly with Abramovich, given the superior English of former Chelsea.

Asked how much contact he has with the owner of the club, Sarri said, "More Zola than I do, because Zola naturally speaks English better than me, of course."

Sarri also confirmed that he wants French striker Olivier Giroud to stay in Chelsea after the summer.

The World Cup winner's contract expires at the end of the season, although Chelsea has the option to extend that deal for another year.

Asked if he wants to hold Giroud, Sarri said: "Yes, of course, I know the club has an option for another season, so I think he will stay."

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