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Sarri explains his use of Hazard as a false nine

Maurizio Sarri has opened up on his decision to play Eden Hazard as a central striker in recent games.

The Italian has made a solid start to life in the Premier League, steering Chelsea back into the top four, eight points behind league leaders Liverpool.

However, one seemingly problematic department for Sarri seems to be up front, with neither Alvaro Morata nor Olivier Giroud covering themselves in glory when offered an opportunity to play, scoring just six goals between them.

In recent outings, the former Napoli boss has tried to play Hazard through the middle as he tries to improve his sides attacking prowess, and he has hinted he will do the same in Saturday’s game against Leicester.

“In the first match it was a tactical choice, then I wanted to see if the solution could work in all situations, so I needed two or three matches to be sure it’s the right solution. I explained my point of view to Giroud and we will see,” Sarri said in his pre-match press conference.

“At the moment it’s good, we played a good match against City and at Brighton we were very dangerous for 60 minutes and then it was a difficult kind of match, very physical, not the best for us. We needed to kill the match before, my players felt it was under control and without problems. We need to avoid this because on the pitch we need to keep the match in that situation.

“I don’t know at the moment, Giroud played 90 minutes three days ago and Morata started training with the group only yesterday after 10 days, so we will see in the last training session.

“I don’t know because I was sure about the match against City, of course not the result, but that with Hazard in that position we could play a good match, I was quite sure. Then against Brighton I started to see this situation in different matches, now I want to see it in a home match against a team who are very compact with low density, we have to see.”

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