When Belgium coach Marc Wilmots came out before the match with Ivory Coast and said that Eden Hazard would start the match on the bench, Chelsea FC fans let out a collective sigh of relief as the youngster was badly in need of rest. Less time spent on the field also meant less of a chance for an injury but if Wilmots is correct in his assessment, Hazard was hurt almost immediately after coming on as a substitute in the last half hour of the match.
Eden was knocked with virtually his first touch immediately after coming on… His stocking was broken and his ankle was swollen. Such things happen in top-level football.
Hazard was asked after the match about the injury and he said that “it did hurt, but I think I can play this weekend”. Though the injury is not serious, if there is enough swelling then it is unlikely that he will be fit to go on Saturday afternoon against Tottenham Hotspur. At best he can start the match on the bench the way he did yesterday. Hazard could come on as an impact substitute but hopefully he will not be needed against Chelsea’s London rivals.
The injury does seem to solve Jose Mourinho’s selection dilemma of whether to start the in form Andre Schurrle or Willian as he can now start both on either side of the midfield. Schurrle and Willian only played 45 minutes for their national teams and will be well rested for the weekend. It is not an ideal situation for Chelsea to potentially lose their best player before a big match against a tough opponent but the club has the depth to compensate.
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