Saturday, 18 March 2017

Eden Hazard suffers injury blow and set to miss Chelsea's trip to Stoke City


Eden Hazard will not travel to the Bet365 Stadium for Chelsea's Premier League clash with Stoke City, according to reports. The Belgian is understood to have suffered a muscle injury and will not be in the Blues' matchday 18 to face Mark Hughes' side as Chelsea look to move 13 points clear of Spurs and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. Hazard may not be the only injury absentee for the Blues, with David Luiz and Victor Moses' respective knee and calf injuries being monitored by club staff ahead of this afternoon's game. It is the first fixture Hazard has missed since the FA Cup fourth-round victory over Brentford and is only the second league fixture he has sat out all season after missing the 1-0 win over Sunderland back in December. The injury comes after Hazard was fouled incessantly by Manchester United players during an ill-tempered FA Cup quarter-final on Monday night, with Conte accusing Jose Mourinho's side of trying to target his star players in the aftermath at Stamford Bridge. Hazard was twice scythed down by United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera, who was sent off, while Phil Jones was tasked with man-marking the Belgian and both he and Marcos Rojo landed robust challenges on him.
His absence is likely to lead to Pedro starting on the left and Willian being brought in on the right, though doubts over Moses' fitness may yet see the Spaniard line up at right wing-back. Moses did train at Stamford Bridge yesterday but other options for Conte include pushing Cesar Azpilicueta across to fill in for Moses should he fail to prove his fitness, or bring in Nathan Ake to allow Pedro to line up in Hazard's customary role on the left.

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