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Zinedine Zidane on whether Eden Hazard could start against Chelsea

Zinedine Zidane refuses to rule out Eden Hazard starting…

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zinedine zidane on whether eden hazard could start against chelsea
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Zinedine Zidane has kept his cards close to his chest on what sort of role Eden Hazard could play against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals – but refused to rule out a start for the Belgian.

Hazard has had a miserable time with injuries since joining Real Madrid from the Blues in 2019. He set Los Blancos back £100m at the time, but his fitness record has left him struggling to sustain a run in the team.

A recurring muscular problem has limited him to just ten appearances in all competitions this season, but he emerged from the bench against Real Betis at the weekend to make his first appearance since March. His return came just three days before Real take on Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, so the narrative beckons.

Speaking ahead of the showdown at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Zidane was asked about Hazard’s chances of featuring. And while he wasn’t giving much away, he certainly seemed optimistic of the winger playing a significant role against his former club.

“He played 20 minutes against Betis and he felt quite good,” Zidane said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

“The most important thing is that he doesn’t feel anything about his problem. He’s quite well, he’s with us, he’s happy to be with us and contribute to the team a lot.”

The last time Hazard appeared in back-to-back games was in January, when he picked up successive La Liga starts against Alaves and Levante. That came amid a run of five straight league appearances, his longest run since joining the club almost two years ago.

Despite his poor fitness record though, Hazard’s ability remains. Chelsea know that as well as anyone, as does manager Thomas Tuchel, who fears the Belgian may be out to ‘prove a point’.

“Eden is a top-quality player and he was the key player here for many years, in the hardest league, so I have the biggest respect for him,” Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference. “Of course we talk a lot because he was a big player here and many people know him really well.

“He is fit and he had a comeback in the last game for some minutes to be ready tomorrow. If he plays I am pretty sure he will want to make a point. Let’s see.”

Source: 90 Mins

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