Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our team highlight their best Saturday bets, with Matt Brocklebank waiting until the evening card at Kempton and George Pitts looking at Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Check out today's Paper Talk2

Paper Talk: £65m Maguire?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives green light on big-money Harry Maguire move and Man City want £105m-rated wonderkid, according to the back pages.

3

Sporting Life Accumulator

With the international break pausing action in the Championship, we have backed four teams in League One and League Two...

Birmingham City's St. Andrews Stadium4

Birmingham hit with points deduction

Birmingham City have been deducted nine points following a breach of the EFL's Profitability and Sustainability rules.

Neymar celebrates5

Neymar hit with UEFA charge

UEFA have charged Neymar with "insulting acts against a match official" due to social media comments he made after PSG's controversial Champions League defeat to Manchester United.

Europa League quarter-final draw: Maurizio Sarri hopes Chelsea void Napoli until the final

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri watches his team in action
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri watches his team in action

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says he'd like to avoid facing former side Napoli until the Europa League final, after his side powered into the last eight.

Sarri's side thumped Dynamo Kiev 8-0 on aggregate after Olivier Giroud's hat-trick inspired Thursday's 5-0 second-leg success in the Ukrainian capital.

The Blues head coach spent three seasons as Napoli manager before replacing fellow Italian Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge last summer, and now he'd like to avoid the Serie A side in Friday's draw.

"I prefer to face them in the final. First of all, because it means we are in the final and I am happy with that," said Sarri.

"And second, it means that Naples are in the final, and I am happy. You know very well my relationship with the city, with the people.

"So, for me, it will be very difficult to play against them in Naples."

Sarri fumes at dangerous pitch

Sarri complained of a "really dangerous" pitch in the build up to the match at Kiev's Olympic Stadium, fearing his players may be injured.

UEFA was quick to dismiss his concerns, saying the playing surface did not pose a risk and the issues were mainly cosmetic.

"I was disappointed with the condition of the pitch, but for both teams. Not only for us," he said. "It was not in good condition. It was a problem for us, but also a big problem for Dynamo.

"The pitch is a problem if you want to play a very good match for both teams. We had to play on this pitch, and so we played."

Giroud top Europa League scorer

Giroud now has nine goals in as many appearances in the European competition, while Hudson-Odoi celebrated his first England Under-21 call-up by completing the rout after left-back Alonso made it 3-0 on the night.

Despite France striker Giroud struggling for Premier League action, his manager insists he is a key member of the squad.

"In the last period, every time he has been on the pitch, he was able to play really very well," said Sarri.

"As you know very well, Olivier for us is a very important player. I'm really very happy for him, and am really very happy with him."

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet@SportingLifeFC

Related football links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our team highlight their best Saturday bets, with Matt Brocklebank waiting until the evening card at Kempton and George Pitts looking at Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Check out today's Paper Talk2

Paper Talk: £65m Maguire?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives green light on big-money Harry Maguire move and Man City want £105m-rated wonderkid, according to the back pages.

3

Sporting Life Accumulator

With the international break pausing action in the Championship, we have backed four teams in League One and League Two...

Birmingham City's St. Andrews Stadium4

Birmingham hit with points deduction

Birmingham City have been deducted nine points following a breach of the EFL's Profitability and Sustainability rules.

Neymar celebrates5

Neymar hit with UEFA charge

UEFA have charged Neymar with "insulting acts against a match official" due to social media comments he made after PSG's controversial Champions League defeat to Manchester United.

Football Tips

Sporting Life Accumulator

With the international break pausing action in the Championship, we have backed four teams in League One and League Two...

Our best bets for Friday's Euro 2020 qualifying action

Euro 2020 tips: Best of the rest

The qualifiers for Euro 2020 continue on Friday night with a number of games across the groups. Tom Carnduff has three anytime scorer bets.

Sporting Life's England v Czech Republic preview

Going for goals at Wembley

George Pitts expects England to get their campaign off to a promising start, but fancies the Czech Republic to at least get on the score sheet at Wembley.