Pep Guardiola has backed Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri ahead of their Premier League clash on Sunday.

After making a strong start, Chelsea have dropped to fourth in the Premier League table having won just one of their last four league games.

How has Sarri fared at Chelsea so far? Five key things to know…

  1. After going agonisingly close to winning Serie A with Napoli last season, Sarri replaced Antonio Conte at Chelsea in the summer.
  2. The Italian quickly implemented his ‘Sarrismo’ style of play, going unbeaten in Chelsea’s first 12 Premier League games.
  3. Sarri has come in for some criticism as Chelsea have won just one of their last four league games, losing to both Tottenham and Wolves in the process.
  4. This has seen Chelsea slip to fourth in the Premier League table.
  5. But Guardiola has been quick to defend Sarri, saying he is doing an ‘excellent job’.

That has led to criticism of the Italian’s ‘Sarrismo’ style of play from some quarters, with Guardiola quick to defend the ‘excellent’ job Sarri has done so far.

“The job he has done so far, from my point of view, is excellent,” the Spaniard told reporters at a press conference.

“People do not know how difficult it is to create a special way to play. You need time, everybody needs time.

“Apart from the last two games – winning at Tottenham away is so difficult, Wolves too. That can happen in this league.”

Guardiola also added how impressed he was when the two sides met in the Community Shield at the start of the season – Sarri’s first competitive game as Chelsea manager.

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“Just in pre-season when we played against them in the Community Shield [City won 2-0 at Wembley in August], it was already his team, the way he wants to play,” he continued.

“Maybe they are not playing 90 minutes but when they play good for 50, 60, 70, 75 minutes they are excellent.”

Being unbeaten is ‘not important’, according to Guardiola

Both Manchester City and Liverpool remain unbeaten after 15 Premier League games so far this season, with just two points separating the two sides.

This has lead to many wondering whether both sides could go all 38 games without defeat, a never-before-seen achievement from two sides in the same season.

Speaking about his own side, however, Guardiola was quick to shut down any talk of an unbeaten record, claiming that is the ‘least important thing’.

“I don’t care about that. Believe me, it is the least important thing. There are more important things that we have to think about,” he said.

“Just to win the next game and play good – that is our target. It [being unbeaten] is not important.”

Chelsea vs Manchester City kicks off at 17.30 GMT on Saturday.

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