Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that £60m record signing Riyad Mahrez is likely to play in the curtain raiser Community Shield against Chelsea on Sunday after overcoming an ankle injury suffered during pre-season.
Guardiola has previously spoken of his excitement to lock horns with Sarri in the top-flight throughout the course of the upcoming season and ahead of the sides' Community Shield outing this weekend, the Spaniard was full of praise again for his counterpart.
"Guardiola told me here in England that it is very hard, the level is very high", said Sarri, who declared his desire to remain at Chelsea for a decade. Being here I feel we are going to improve a lot [because of] his ideas in England. "I saw three games - he gets it, the team in a short time plays like he wants", he said.
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"I think it is very important to start with a trophy", he said. Chelsea is always a big rival, with Antonio Conte before and with Maurizio too. He cites their half-time formation change against Arsenal back in 2016 - the switch that ultimately led to the Premier League title - as an example of their tactical flexibility.
The two coaches share the same footballing philosophy and met for dinner with former Italy manager Arrigo Sacchi in June, when Guardiola warned him of the perils of English football.
The 59-year-old is eager to do well but he acknowledges the size of the task against the Premier League champions.
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"We will see, if at the end we decide to bring in another in it will be because he's a special player for the future not just to add one more players for the number", he told a news conference.
But he insists there was no issue and Sarri remains confident Willian will be at Stamford Bridge when the transfer window closes.
Sarri, who has not won a trophy in his career, said: "The match for us is very hard for one reason: they have worked all together for two years".
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"I have to win and then it depends on the club but I want to stay here for a long time".