MX23RW : Sunday, June 20 22:46:09| >> :60:121:121:
Aug 26, 2018 at 4pm UK at St James' Park
Attendance: 51,791
NewcastleNewcastle United
1-2
Chelsea
Joselu (83')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Hazard (76' pen.), Yedlin (87' og.)

Rafael Benitez praises Maurizio Sarri

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez talks up the managerial ability of Chelsea counterpart Maurizio Sarri ahead of the Premier League clash between the two sides.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has praised Chelsea counterpart Maurizio Sarri ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash between the two sides at St James' Park.

Both managers have enjoyed spells at Napoli - in addition to taking charge at Stamford Bridge - with Sarri succeeding Benitez at the Stadio San Paolo and establishing the Naples outfit as the closest rivals to Juventus in Serie A.

Benitez believes that Sarri may have been able to dethrone the Old Lady had he stayed at Napoli for longer, but suggested that the Italian will only improve as he works with better players.

"He was trying to play attacking football and pass the ball [earlier in his career] but if you have the right tools, you can do better," Benitez told reporters.

"They can say he was not winning - yes - but the team maybe was not capable of winning. But when he has a team like Napoli that was doing well, he was playing well and he was close, he was close.

"Maybe a couple of years more at Napoli and he could have been winning the title but Juventus are very strong. He loves football, he's a good coach. Okay, he started a little bit later, but still he has the love for the game."

Sarri has won both of his Premier League games in charge of Chelsea so far, while Newcastle are still looking for their first win of the campaign.

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Rafael Benitez in charge of Newcastle United on May 13, 2018
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