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Sarri wants Jorginho to be great dictator against Manchester City

PA | 2mo
The playmaker is key to Chelsea's style of play as they like to dominate possession.

Maurizio Sarri wants Jorginho to show his credentials as Chelsea's great dictator in Sunday's Premier League clash at Manchester City.

Both City and Sarri's Chelsea like to dominate possession, with central playmaker Jorginho key to the Blues' style and substance.

That is where Sarri believes the match will be decided, rather than by the likes of Eden Hazard and Gonzalo Higuain for the visitors, or Sergio Aguero and company for the hosts.

Sarri said: "It will be really very difficult to be in control of the match. The match is there (in midfield), more than in the strikers."

The contest between Manchester City's Fernandinho and Jorginho of Chelsea could be decisive on Sunday (Adam Davy/PA)

Jorginho has made the most passes in the Premier League this season (2,219; no assists), while Fernandinho is key for City, allowing his flashier team-mates to flourish.

Sarri, though, is adamant stopping Chelsea is not as simple as nullifying Jorginho, who followed him to Stamford Bridge from Napoli; likewise with Fernandinho and City.

"They are able to play if you stop Fernandinho and also we're able to play if you stop Jorginho," Sarri added.

"We have options. Maybe they have more options than us because they have worked on this for three seasons.

"But I remember that in Naples it wasn't a big problem if there was a man on Jorginho, so I hope it will be the same here in the future."

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri, right, reckons Pep Guardiola's Manchester City will dominate possession on Sunday (Adam Davy/PA)

The battle for possession will be an intriguing one, with City accustomed to having their own way, especially at home, where they have scored 43 goals in 13 league games.

Sarri added: "I expect Guardiola's team want to always be in control of the match, always in possession of the ball and they're able to do it. So it's a very difficult match.

"We are used to having the ball and possession so on Sunday it will be very different.

"We will try to play our football, but if they are able to play their football, of course, you have to stay lower (deeper)."

Chelsea are unbeaten in seven fixtures against defending champions, having ended City's 21-match unbeaten run in the league on December 8.

That came as a surprise to many, with Sarri on Friday admitting his side were "lucky" in the win, built on strong defence and taking goalscoring opportunities, through N'Golo Kante and David Luiz.

Strikers were conspicuous by their absence that day, with Hazard deployed as Chelsea's 'false nine'.

Higuain's arrival has reduced the likelihood of Hazard being required to lead the line, but Sarri refused to rule out that possibility at the Etihad Stadium.

Gonzalo Higuain and Eden Hazard have showed signs of a promising partnership (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He added: "The situation is not like the other match, so I can decide something different or have a 'false nine'."

There has been a nine-goal swing in Chelsea's last two performances.

A 4-0 loss at Bournemouth – Chelsea's worst in the Premier League since September 1996 – was followed by a 5-0 win over bottom club Huddersfield, when Higuain and Hazard each scored twice.

Sarri expressed hope, rather than conviction, that Chelsea will be at their best at City.

"Now we know very well we need consistency. I hope our version on Sunday will be the best," he added.



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914
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