Chelsea Team News: Blues Handed Double Boost Ahead Of Crystal Palace Clash
Chelsea will be looking to keep the pressure on the Premier League’s top two with a win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
Maurizio Sarri has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s provided a full team news and injury update ahead of the game with the latest on Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud.
Hazard has missed Chelsea’s last three matches against Burnley, BATE Borisov and Derby County after suffering a back injury during the dramatic 2-2 draw with Manchester United last month.
However, the Belgian international returned to full training on Thursday and Sarri says Hazard is in-line to return to action against Palace – although the attacker is not yet ready to complete the full ninety minutes so he may only be named on the bench.
Giroud missed the League Cup victory over Frank Lampard’s Derby side on Wednesday night due to a muscle problem but the French international is expected to return to the squad tomorrow.
Sarri also took time to reserve praise for Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek following their excellent form lately but he says the duo still need to improve their defensive awareness.
The Chelsea boss said:
Maurizio Sarri reports he does not know yet whether Eden Hazard is fit to play for 90 minutes. He trained for a large part of the session yesterday. He can probably play for 40 to 45 minutes. #CHECRY
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 2, 2018
Sarri says Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have "improved" tactically but they need to strengthen further in the "defensive phase". Giroud [muscular fatigue] is expected to return to the matchday squad. Ampadu is training fully. #CFC
Injury Table ? https://t.co/cckOHhGs0b
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) November 2, 2018
It will be a big boost for Chelsea to have Hazard available again – even if it’s just for half the game – as he’s been in superb form this season and I also expected Giroud to come back in to the attack tomorrow with Alvaro Morata dropping out.
Chelsea head into the weekend action sitting third in the Premier League table and just two points off Manchester City and Liverpool so Sarri will be desperate to maintain the pressure with a win over Palace on Sunday.
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