Chelsea are looking to do a League double over Manchester City come Sunday, but Maurizio Sarri admits it won’t be easy beating ‘the best team in Europe’.
Chelsea were the first side to inflict a loss on City in the Premier League this season, and further defeats to Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Newcastle United have shown City are not invincible.
Guardiola’s men however sit top of the Premier League table ahead of Liverpool on goal difference.
Sarri being one of the few managers to have beaten City this season admits that a repeat of that feat at the Etihad on Sunday will be no easy task.
“I think we were lucky [in the last match vs City] because we scored in a very difficult moment in the match,” the Italian told a press conference on Friday.
“Maybe we deserved to win in the second half, but we were very lucky in the first. In that match we defended very well as they only had three opportunities on goal, no more.
“It’s not easy against City to limit them to three or four opportunities – they had scored 43 goals in 15 matches, so it’s difficult and we need to defend well.
“I was happy with the result and the performance, now we need consistency. I hope that on Sunday we’ll be the best version [of ourselves].
As regards his gameplan, Sarri added: “We need to be very fast when we’re recovering the ball. They are able to press really well and it’s difficult to find a way out of that situation.
“If we can do that, we can do well.
The former Napoli boss was brought in to restore Chelsea’s status as title challengers, but claims there is a lot of work to be done to get close to City.
“We need to reduce the gap,” he said. “We need to work. You can either be the most competitive in the market or you can work. I don’t know any other way.
“The Premier League is very difficult. It’s not easy to win or even get to the Champions League. We need to work, but I think they [Man City] are an example for every club.
“I think they are the best team in Europe.
“At the moment I don’t think [we are title contenders]. I think we can fight for the top four this season, no more. We can win something, of course, but the Premier League is now a fight between Manchester City and Liverpool.”