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Maurizio Sarri Europa League press conference

Sarri predicting ‘open’ and ‘difficult’ game against Arsenal

Maurizio Sarri is not predicting an easy game when his Chelsea side come up against Arsenal in the Europa League final next week.

The two Premier League sides make the not so short, 2500 mile trip from London to Baku, Azerbaijan next week in search of European glory, and while Chelsea go into the game as slight favourites, Maurizio Sarri has predicted the Europa League final to be both an ‘open’ yet ‘difficult’ affair.

“Usually against Arsenal, it’s an open match,” Sarri told the media in a pre-match press conference.

“They have two very dangerous strikers, Lacazette and Aubamayang. They are very dangerous as a team in the offensive phase. They are aggressive and able to press well in the opposition half, so it’s not easy to play against them. The coach worked very well, so a difficult match.

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“We got in trouble in January but we were able to react, so now our feeling is we deserve to win. We want a trophy for our group, for the players, for the technical staff, the fans, and the club. If we are able to win the season will become a wonderful season.”

Chelsea’s third-place finish has already seen them qualify for next season’s Champions League, while Arsenal will need to lift the Europa League trophy in order to seal their place in Europe’s premier competition.

Asked if Champions League qualification will serve to be added motivation for the Gunners, while Sarri did admit it was a risk, he  insisted that his players were under less pressure.

“It’s a risk, of course. On the other hand we have to consider the pressure,” he replied. “In this moment we risk having less motivation than our opponent, but probably they have more pressure than us. There is a positive and a negative.

“We didn’t want to play this final for the Champions League. We wanted the Champions League through the Premier League, and then we wanted to win a trophy. The final is very important for us, and our feeling is we deserve to win a trophy.”

A Chelsea victory would represent the first trophy of Maurizio Sarri’s career, while Unai Emery is looking to win the Europa League for a record fourth time having won it in three successive years at Sevilla.

READ: Pulisic insists Chelsea can ‘compete’ with Liverpool and Man City

See also: Chelsea v Arsenal – Europa League preview and betting tips