Maurizio Sarri surprised by West Ham's early-season struggles
Chelsea visit West Ham on Sunday, live on Sky Sports
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 22/09/18 12:28pm
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri admits he is surprised West Ham have had such a difficult start to the season.
Manuel Pellegrini's side finally got off the mark in the Premier League with a 3-1 win at Everton last week but now face a tough game at home to Chelsea on Sunday - live on Sky Sports - as they look to move away from the relegation places.
In contrast, Sarri's side have enjoyed a sensational start to the campaign, winning their opening five league matches, as well as their Europa League game against PAOK in Greece on Thursday night.
"I am surprised," Sarri said of West Ham's travails. "In Naples [his former club, Napoli], the beginning was very difficult. Not for a long time but the first month was very difficult.
"Here, at the moment, I am very happy. I am very happy with the situation, I am very happy with the players, I am very happy with the club.
Sky Live: West Ham v Chelsea
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini is hopeful Marko Arnautovic will be fit to face Chelsea on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
"I know that the Premier League is very competitive. I know that in the future, probably, I will have to face some difficulties.
"I have seen the five matches of West Ham in the Premier League. I think they are a very good team. I think the position in the table of West Ham is not reality."
Cesar Azpilicueta took over the captaincy from Willian after coming on as a substitute in the 1-0 win over PAOK, but Sarri has refused to say if he will be given the role on a permanent basis, insisting it is not a major issue as far as he is concerned.
"I don't remember who the captain was at the beginning of the game," added Sarri. "Who was the captain? Willian.
Zola: Hazard still not at his best
Eden Hazard is benefiting from Chelsea's system under Maurizio Sarri but the best is still to come, says Gianfranco Zola.
"And in the second part, Azpilicueta. I don't know. I don't remember. I understand that in England it is important. For me it is not so important.
"I have my idea. I want to speak to the players and I want to speak to my club. It was not possible this week. Maybe it will be possible in the next week."
Watch West Ham v Chelsea on Renault Super Sunday. Coverage begins on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event at 12:30pm.