Millennium Post

Chelsea eye crucial Hazard return

Chelsea are hopeful Belgium winger Eden Hazard can shrug off a calf problem in time for Wednesday’s crucial Premier League showdown with Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge.

The quicksilver Hazard was forced to miss Sunday’s 1-0 victory at champions Manchester United after sustaining the injury in the Europa League semi-final win over Swiss club Basel on Thursday.

‘He has a problem with his calf,’ interim manager Rafael Benitez told the club’s website ( ‘We thought he was fine but we didn’t want to take a risk with him (against United). He could be available for Wednesday, the physios are working with him and he could be fit.’

Chelsea climbed into the third and final automatic Champions League qualifying spot after the win at United and they go into Wednesday’s game knowing a victory against Spurs will virtually kill off the top-three chances of their London rivals.

The fourth-placed team enters the Champions League at the play-off round and must win a two-legged knockout tie to advance to the group stage.

Benitez’s squad have 68 points with three games to go, one ahead of Arsenal (two games remaining) and three in front of fifth-placed Spurs, who also have an inferior goal difference of +18 compared to Chelsea’s +34.

‘If we can win we will be there but Tottenham are a good team,’ the Spaniard added.
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