Liverpool v Chelsea: Eden Hazard set to miss crunch Premier League clash but should return from injury to face Atletico Madrid
Hazard has missed the last three matches having injured his hamstring and Jose Mourinho will not risk him for the trip to Anfield to face the Premier League leaders
Thursday 24 April 2014
Eden Hazard will not be fit to face Liverpool on Sunday but he remains on course to return for the Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.
The influential midfielder has missed the Blues’ last three matches having limped out of the quarter-final second-leg victory over Paris St-Germain, and although the Belgian travelled to the Spanish capital this week, he was not risked against Atletico.
It is being reported by the Evening Standard that he will also miss this weekend’s trip to Anfield as Jose Mourinho focuses his attentions on success in Europe rather than the Premier League. The Chelsea manager has already warned that he could start the match against the league leaders with the ‘kids’ in the starting line-up as he looks to rest his key players for the return leg against the La Liga table-toppers.
Hazard felt some discomfort in his leg earlier this week which led to Mourinho’s decision not to risk the 23-year-old, and with the Blues aiming for a third Champions League final appearance in seven years – not to mention a third crown for Mourinho – the Portuguese will hold back Hazard in the hope that the extra few days rest will allow him to start against Diego Simeone’s side next week.
Chelsea do have a number of concerns heading into the two matches that could define their season. While they welcome back Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah for the trip to Liverpool, the pair are cup-tied in Europe and will not be able to face Atletico, and neither will Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel after they picked up yellow cards in the first leg.
Read more: Cech could miss start of the season
Mourinho threatens to play the 'kids' against Liverpool
Peter Cech suffered a dislocated shoulder that has ruled him out for the rest of the season, and he has been joined on the sidelines by captain John Terry, who suffered a twisted ankle after an accidental clash with Diego Costa. Should Chelsea reach the final on 24 May, Terry could feature for his side, though Mourinho gave a clear indication that he is unlikely to return any sooner.
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