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Published: 15:39 | 17/8/18

Kovacic set for Chelsea debut against Arsenal


Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says new signing Mateo Kovacic is likely to make his Premier League debut against Arsenal on Saturday.

The Croatia World Cup midfield star, who was not involved in last weekend's 3-0 win at Huddersfield Town, signed on loan from Real Madrid on deadline day.

And Sarri confirmed the 24-year-old is likely to feature off the bench against Arsenal following Tiemoue Bakayoko's loan move to AC Milan, and Cesc Fabregas' "unusual" ankle injury.

"I think Mateo will be very useful for us. He's a very technical player," Sarri told reporters.

"In this moment he has to work. I think he's not ready now for 90 minutes, but maybe tomorrow for 30 minutes he could be used.

"I think he can play in any of the three positions in midfield. He's a very good offensive player, but he has improved in the defensive phase in the last two years in Madrid.

"I expect a lot from him because, for me, he's a very great player. In my opinion, he can improve more."

Sarri also confirmed Spanish striker Alvaro Morata is likely to start against the Gunners despite a muted performance in Saturday's win over Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium.

"I am not worried about Morata. Morata is a very great player," Sarri said. 

"I think that, in this moment, he needs only to gain confidence.

"He needs to score as all the strikers in the world do. He needs to gain confidence, but he's improving so I'm not really worried about him."

Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, 18 August live on BT Sport 1 on the eir sport pack [kick-off 5.30pm]. Subscribe here

Image: Getty Images/Mattias Hangst

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