Ranieri: Fulham are 'ready' for 'difficult' Chelsea encounter

Ranieri: Fulham are 'ready' for 'difficult' Chelsea encounter

Sarri singled out Hudson-Odoi, who earned his first start for Chelsea in this campaign.

The 18-year-old starred for the Blues in their recent 4-0 win in the Europa League against PAOK Salonika, scoring his first goal for the club as well as setting up another in what was just his fourth appearance for the first-team this season.

Barcelona are experiencing a defensive crisis at the moment, with a severely disheartened backline that has not only led to a sparsity of clean sheets but also to speculative interest in Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany as a potential centre-back reinforcement.

Despite being impressed with the youngster's performance, Sarri wasn't getting carried away.

I have been to (Cobham) - he was very kind with me.

In fact, odds of 10/11 (1.91) look too good to pass up on Fulham's generosity at the back helping to ensure over 3.5 goals are scored for Chelsea's fifth league game in six.

"I spoke with him for three days - I don't remember exactly - one month ago, or 45 days ago", said Sarri, who dined with Ranieri afterwards in the Chelsea training ground canteen.

Fulham have no new reported injuries for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

'I believe in Aleksandar, but I think he needs more and more, and time for him to understand my philosophy, ' said Ranieri.

"I want him to play as well in the Premier League as he did in the Championship".

Fulham boss Ranieri heaped praise on Chelsea counterpart Sarri, insisting his Italian compatriot merits high regard for his "Sarriball" tactical style.

"He is a good player with a high quality, but I want more from him", Ranieri said.

"We only needed to play in the offensive phase and he's very able to do this. Against Southampton we made three crosses and we scored three times". Before the match we knew were in the first of the group after the BATE result, so it wasn't easy to find a big motivation.

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