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Maurizio Sarri revels why they trained in Minsk instead of Borisov and provides injury updates on Morata and Hazard

Chelsea will be seeking a fourth win from four Europa League Group L games in Thursday’s contest. They will be confirmed in first place with two rounds of matches to go if they win and the other game, between Vidi and PAOK in Budapest, is drawn.

Eden Hazard has travelled for Chelsea’s clash at BATE, but Marcos Alonso, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata have been left at home.

Ahead of the game, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has faced the press.

Is Alvaro Morata injured?

“No, no. He played three matches in a row, so I thought it was better for him to stay in Cobham to rest and to have two good training sessions. The problem is only Cesc. This morning, he had a fever. And so he had to stay in Cobham. This is the only problem, so we called up Kante at the last minute.”

Would it not have been better for his form to stay in the squad?

“No. I think it’s the opposite. Morata stays at Cobham just to rest because he played very often in the last period, and just to have training. So I think that it’s better for him and more easier to stay fit with two or three training sessions than only with matches. So I think it’s normal for a player to play three or four matches and then rest. Otherwise, we can have a squad with 13 or 14 players. Sometimes it’s better to actually rest than always play. Sometimes the players need to train on some specific things, to work on physical qualities, instead on other things they don’t have to. Sometimes it’s better this than actually playing. If they only play, they will lose that physical quality that they need. This is proved scientifically. In 21 days.”

Why have you trained in Minsk and not Borisov?

“I don’t know. I don’t know because I am not able to come here to visit the training ground, to visit the stadium, to visit the hotel and everything else. I have to listen to my club and my club told me that it’s better to stay here, to have the training here and to move tomorrow for the match.”

Is Morata training to try to get stronger?

“No, no, no. Not at all. Not at all. Today he had an aerobic training: five seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, recovery, it’s too long to explain. It was an aerobic training session. Tomorrow we will have force training, but we don’t use any weights. It’s all natural work that we do in the gym. Nobody does weights. Also because I’ve never seen a player with a weight on the pitch.”

Was it a risk to bring Hazard?

“For our doctor, there is not any risk otherwise he would have stayed in Cobham, of course. We thought that, for him, it’s better to him. Not for 90 minutes, but to play after two weeks without playing. So, in the last match, he played only for 30 minutes. For us, the best work for him is that he will play for 45 or 50 minutes tomorrow.”

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