Ahead of Arsenals Premier League encounter against defending champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has provided an Eden Hazard injury update with regards to his availability for the match.
The Italian gaffer has used the attacker from the bench in Chelsea’s last two games against Leicester and Qarabag.
Eden Hazard suffered an ankle injury during international duty following which had to undergoe an ankle surgery leaving him sidelined for month.
But now Chelsea boss Conte has revealed how close he is to full match fitness in his pre-match press conference saying :
‘Eden, for sure he’s improving and I think he has to have this kind of passions with him is paying off,’ ‘He’s very close, he’s very close to be totally fit and we have to continue in this way and don’t forget I have to make decision for the team, for the players. ‘But I think he’s improving a lot and he’s very close to being 100% fit.’
Meanwhile they also welcome back Gary Cahill after the completion of his three match suspension for being sent off against Burnley on opening day.
Only player who is sidelined for sure is new signing Danny Drinkwater who is not available for another few weeks after injuring his calf muscle.
Its not like he would have played either given the options they currently posses ahead of him like Kante, Bakayoko and Fabregas.
As for Eden Hazard he has played 12 minutes against Liecester City, 32 minutes against Qarabag in the Champions League which certainly primes him for getting out on the field atleast for an hour against us on sunday.
If you are wondering why we are so concerned about seeing him face us check out the second goal from our last seasons match against Chelsea at Stamford bridge :
Highlights of last seasons 3-1 loss to Chelsea including Eden Hazard wondergoal :
Eden Hazard played for Belgium during the last international break before being eased into the team by Antonio Conte who has been certainly very cautious about his integration back into the team.
Even if their manager is saying Eden Hazard is not entirely 100% match fit yet he will try to ensure that Chelsea get the optimum services from him for sunday’s clash even if its for just 60 minutes of the match.
He is a match winner who is really good at producing those moments of magic which decide the fate of a match as seen in the second goal.
He has also scored three times in his last four appearances against us.
If Eden Hazard plays then one of the most crucial encounters on the field will be him vs Hector Bellerin which will go a long way in deciding the fate of the match.
Chelsea are without Matic and instead have Bakayoko who no doubt is a great addition to the team but is definitely not as influential in his early Chelsea career as Matic almost always was.
It should make for a fine match if Arsenal remember how good they were at Wembley both the times.
If they show the same intent they did at Anfield then there is no point in them even taking the field.
Arsenal have a quality team on paper at least and a world class front three of Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette ( though i doubt Sanchez will start). If the players play remembering which club they represent when they take the field, then there should not be any problem in seeing our players giving their 200% out there.
Knowing how the Chelsea team showed their character and determination in marching to the League trophy after being shamed by Arsenal in the 3-0 loss should be their biggest source of inspiration in squaring up to them tomorrow.
The team who won on that day floundered in their title challenge badly whereas when everybody had ruled the Chelsea team out from challenging for the title for that performance, they showed their true mettle and went on to kiss the Premier League trophy in April showing the stuff Champions are made up of.
Watching Chelsea take the field against them our boys should know exactly where they aim to be come April. Almost everyone has ruled Arsenal out citing their lack of mental strength but a win against the defending champions at their home will greatly go a long way in developing that belief which they sorely lack to become champions of England.