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POAK vs Chelsea: Why Hazard, Luiz, Kovacic will not play – Sarri

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Chelsea boss, Maurizio Sarri, has explained why Eden Hazard, David Luiz and Mateo Kovacic, were left out of Chelsea’s first Europa League tie against Greek side PAOK.

The former Napoli boss has dropped the first-team trio for the away match, despite all showing good form in the Premier League.

Hazard scored a hat-trick against Cardiff last weekend, but Sarri said the playmaker requires extra rest after a busy summer at the World Cup with Belgium

Croatia midfielder and World Cup runner-up Kovacic picked up a knock in the game on Saturday and also requires extra rest.

Sarri is also keen on treating Luiz with caution after he lacked first-team football last season.

“David Luiz is in Cobham because he is playing without six months so I thought it was better for him to have rest,” he told press conference ahead of the clash.

“Kovacic it is better to have rest with the little injury.

“Hazard after the national team and the match with Cardiff he was a little bit tired.

“I thought it was better to have training and rest.”

“I don’t know about Loftus,” he added.

“For me he is a very good player. I don’t know if there is a spot tomorrow.

“Now, it is very difficult because in the first part of the season it is very important to play with a very solid team.

“I might change four or five players, it is impossible to change every player in the match.

“For Odoi in his position in the last match played Pedro and Hazard. I have also played [Victor] Moses and Willian. [Ethan] Ampadu, Odoi and Loftus are the future, I don’t know if the right time tomorrow is for Odoi.”

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