Kante a '50-50' chance for Europa League final, says Sarri

Maurizio Sarri revealed N'Golo Kante's participation in the Europa League final continues to hang in the balance and praised Eden Hazard.

Published : May 29, 2019 01:11 IST

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante is a "50-50" chance to overcome a knee issue in time to face Arsenal in the Europa League final, according to Maurizio Sarri.

Kante sustained the problem in training over the weekend and remains a doubt for Wednesday's clash in Baku.

The France international only recently recovered from a hamstring injury that forced him out him of the second leg of the semi-final triumph over Eintracht Frankfurt and the subsequent Premier League draw at Leicester City.

Kante has been a regular in Sarri's first season in charge, starting 46 times in all competitions, and the Italian admitted his absence would be a blow to an injury-hit area of the pitch.

"He had a very little problem in his knee on Saturday," Sarri said at his pre-match news conference.

"It is 50-50. Yesterday was 60-40 [not to play], but now it is 50-50. He was a little better this morning.

"It is not serious but the problem is the timing. Right now we don't know. We will try until the last moment.

"I hope to recover him because I know very well it is a problem for us without him."


Chelsea is already without another first-choice midfielder in Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who ruptured his Achilles tendon in a friendly in the United States.

Callum Hudson-Odoi suffered the same injury in April, leaving Real Madrid target Eden Hazard to shoulder extra responsibility in attack in what could be his final appearance for the club.

Sarri hailed Hazard's ability but admitted motivation can be a challenge for him at Stamford Bridge.

"It is a pleasure to [coach him] during the matches of course. Sometimes it is a problem during the week," the Blues boss said.

"At the moment he's one of the most important players in the world. I think he can improve. He can become the best player in Europe and in the world, I think. 

"Training is a problem, it can be boring, because for him things are really very easy."

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