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Hazard set for Chelsea return against Palace: Sarri

Reuters , Friday 2 Nov 2018
Eden Hazard
Chelsea's Eden Hazard pushes forward as ManU midfielder Paul Pogba, left, runs alongside during their English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge stadium in London Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. AP
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Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is set to return against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday but is unlikely to play the full match at Stamford Bridge, manager Maurizio Sarri said on Friday.

Hazard, the league's joint-top scorer this season with seven goals, has missed the last three matches with a back injury.

"Yesterday, he had a large part of the training with the team," Sarri told reporters at a news conference on Friday.

"But maybe he will not be ready to play for 90 minutes at the moment because it was his first training for the two weeks.

"Probably he will be able to play for 40-45 minutes, so for us it is important."

When pressed on whether Hazard will start the match, Sarri added: "I don't know, I want to speak with him first."

Sarri is unbeaten in his first 10 league matches as Chelsea manager and can now match the record held by Frank Clark, who took charge of 11 without defeat with Nottingham Forest at the start of 1994-95 campaign.

But the Italian is not getting carried away with the team's positive run of results.

"I think here I was lucky because my players were able to win without a high level of tactical level," the Italian coach added. "I don't want to think about the record, only to think about the match and to gain points.

"The record is only a consequence of the match. I have to send the message to my players that the match is the only thing that is important."

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