Maurizio Sarri wants his Chelsea side to play with 'free minds' in the Carabao Cup final

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Chelsea and Manchester City meet in the first cup final of the domestic season on Sunday. 

They go head to head in the Carabao Cup final, just two weeks after City put six goals past the Blues in the Premier League. 

After that result, Pep Guardiola's side are clear favourites and rightly so. 

The league leaders were absolutely ruthless at the Etihad with goals from Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan resigning Chelsea to their heaviest defeat of the PL era. 

In the aftermath of the defeat, serious pressure has been piled on Maurizio Sarri and his players. 

There's a cloud hanging over Stamford Bridge at the moment and FA Cup elimination after a 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester United has made things even worse. 

STAMFORD BRIDGE STRUGGLES

Even before these recent defeats, Sarri had said that his players were lacking confidence and struggling with the style of play he's trying to deploy at the club.

Many fans have been calling for the Italian tactician to simplify things at Chelsea or even work out a 'plan B' for when things go wrong on the pitch. 

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Up to now, Sarri has been resilient and refused to play any other way than his own. But, ahead of the cup final on Sunday, it appears that he may have finally changed his mind. 

EASING THE PRESSURE

Speaking on Thursday night following Chelsea's 3-0 win against Malmo, Sarri admitted that he is worried about the lack of confidence in his players and will be easing up on his tactics this weekend.

"In this match [against Malmo], for 30 minutes, I saw a team very worried. Without confidence," he said, previewing the Carabao Cup final.

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"So I don't want to press them [on Friday]. I want their minds really very free."

As well as suggesting he's not going to overwork his team on the training ground, the Blues boss also revealed that he's going to try and prepare for the final in just one hour. 

"We will prepare the match [against City] only on Saturday, I think. I didn't like our minds in the first 30 minutes [against Malmo].

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"I want to see something more free. So we will prepare the match in 60 minutes, no more." 

A CHANGE IN APPROACH?

By admitting that he's not going to overload his players with information ahead of the cup final, it seems like Sarri could be signaling a change in approach. 

Sunday will offer us a chance to see how Chelsea will play with 'free minds', as opposed to playing under strict tactical instructions from their coach - and that's something fans can get excited about.

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