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Europa League

Sarri says Dynamo Kiev’s pitch is ‘dangerous’

Chelsea lead Dynamo Kiev 3-0 after last week's Europa League last 16, first leg at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has described Dynamo Kiev’s pitch as ‘dangerous’ and fears his players could suffer injuries playing on it.

Sarri’s squad trained at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday evening ahead of Thursday’s Europa League last-16 second leg.

“The pitch is not good. I think that it’s dangerous, really dangerous,” said the Italian, whose team lead 3-0 on aggregate.
“It’s really dangerous to play any football here in this moment, and I think it’s really very dangerous for injuries. But the situation is this.
“I don’t know the reason – probably the winter. I came here two years ago (with Napoli) and the pitch was wonderful.

Striker Gonzalo Higuain has not made the trip to the Ukraine. The Argentina forward has been suffering with illness since Sunday’s Premier League draw with Wolves.

“He had a fever after the match in the Premier League for two days, so yesterday in the evening with the doctor, we decided to leave him at home,” said Sarri.
“Just in order to recover him for the next match.”

Sarri also said he was not concerned about fresh rumours linking Blues forward Eden Hazard with Real Madrid after the Spanish club reappointed head coach Zinedine Zidane.

“At the moment, I didn’t speak with Eden about Zidane so I don’t know,” said Sarri.
“I am not worried because you know very well my opinion – I want in my team only the players who want to play for Chelsea, so I cannot be worried.”

Dynamo Kiev manager Aleksandr Khatskevich meanwhile admits his team need a miracle to overturn their deficit.

Chelsea have never lost a game in this competition by more than two goals and Khatskevich accepts his side face an uphill task as the attempt to make history at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium.

“Of course, we do have a plan. Tomorrow, we will have to play in a more offensive way taking into account we lost the first game 0-3,” the Belarusian said at his pre-match press conference.
“We hope we’ll try to score quickly, maybe.

“Miracles do occur in football and why not it occurs tomorrow?
“The score of the first game makes us go forward.”

Dynamo, who are confirmed as runners-up to rivals Shakhtar Donetsk in their domestic league for the third successive season, enjoyed a confidence-boosting 4-0 success over city rivals Arsenal Kiev on Sunday.

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