Maurizio Sarri opens the door for John Terry to return to Chelsea

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"We play against a very physical team, so I think if we want to gain points we need a very good performance tomorrow".

Like Sarri said, Chelsea is Terry's "home" and he is destined to coach the side one day. "It's what I really want to do".

There is no consideration for Terry returning to Stamford Bridge as a player, with Sarri prioritising young talent like Wales worldwide Ethan Ampadu. "He wants to play with the ball, he wants to play with intensity, work on the details and give us all the information he can about the game".

"I am very open with him, because he's the history of the club".

However, he insists the Blues can not yet be considered a serious threat to champions Manchester City or current leaders Liverpool after finishing 30 points off the pace in fifth last season.

While talking to the press ahead of the Cardiff game, Sarri said: "At the moment, I can only see City or Liverpool [winning it], at the moment", he told a media conference.

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"We need another step, I think, to be the same level".

"It's very hard to close a gap of 30 points (the amount Chelsea finished behind champions Manchester City in May) at the beginning of the season".

Chelsea could welcome Cesc Fabregas back to the matchday squad against Cardiff City on Saturday, the Spanish midfielder having missed the start of the campaign with a knee injury.

"Yesterday [Thursday] there were problems with fever for Emerson [Palmieri] and [Davide] Zappacosta, and a little problem after the match with the national team for Loftus-Cheek". It is something the 59-year-old is trying to do.

The Scottish forward moved to Villa Park from Fulham as Roberto Di Matteo's marquee signing in 2016 and still has just under two years left on his current contract. "No more". He added: "Then I'd like to start again".