Mateo Kovacic has warned Chelsea against complacency when they face BATE Borisov in the Europa League – citing Liverpool’s defeat to Red Star Belgrade of what to expect.
Maurizio Sarri’s side can secure their place as group winners with two matches to spare if they can win the Belarusian capital, but Kovavic – who watched in shock at Liverpool’s defeat to Red Star in Serbia – has warned the Blues to be on their guard.
The fall-out from Liverpool’s defeat has been that severe this week that Kovacic – on a season-long loan at Stamford Bridge from Real Madrid – hopes the Blues avoid a similar fate.
“I watched the game, Liverpool struggled a lot,” Kovacic said.
“The most important thing is we need to be prepared so that what happened to Liverpool doesn’t happen to us.”
Eden Hazard is expected to feature for Chelsea after making his comeback from a back injury as a substitute at the weekend and Sarri has reassured supporters that he isn’t taking a gamble by playing the influential Belgian in the Europa League clash.
“There is not any risk, otherwise he would stay in Cobham, of course,” Sarri said of Hazard.
“We thought for him it’s better to play, not for 90 minutes, but to play after two weeks without training.
“In the last match he played only for 30 minutes. The best for him is he will play 45, 50 minutes.”
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