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Chelsea winger Eden Hazard hasn’t performed his best in this years campaign. He had a poor run of form previous to Christmas and injuries have also hindered his season.

It’s been revealed that Hazard has added pressure this season after making a bet with his two brothers, Thorgan and Kyllian, before the campaign began. So not only does he have the pressure of impressing his new manager and performing for his team-mates and fans, he also has a competition with his brothers to win. Thorgan Hazard, Eden’s younger brother who plays for Borussia Munchengladbach, has been talking to The Set Pieces, telling them that he and his two brothers have a bet on who can score the most goals and get the most assists during the season.

“We have a competition every year also with my other brother who plays in Hungary [Kyllian].

“It’s a simple one, too – the player with the fewest goals and assists at the end of the season buys dinner for the other two brothers.

“I need to score and give assists because I don’t want to pay. For the moment it’s a big competition between us.”

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Chelsea entertain Stoke City this weekend at Stamford Bridge and Stoke boss Mark Hughes is still baffled over Chelsea’s poor start to the campaign.

Mark Hughes, who used to play for Chelsea, said he is more confused about them unable to win a game at the start of the season than he is in their ability to shoot up the table to reach the top ten. Chelsea now find themselves in a position where they could potentially make European places by the end of the season.

“I think everybody was scratching their heads as to why Chelsea couldn’t win games. They were losing and drawing but couldn’t put teams away, which was something they’ve always been able to do.

“It’s only in recent weeks that they’ve been able to get in the top 10 for the first time. No one could have anticipated that at the start of the season.

“They’ve got themselves into position where they can have a strong finish, may well into European places. The Champions League spots … we’ll have to wait and see. They may need others to slip up … but they have got the potential to go on a run which can take them a long way.”

 

According to the latest italian rumors, Blues owner Roman Abramovich would gather the players together at the club training ground last weekend just to announce them: “I’ve signed Conte.” Corriere dello Sport also reports that he told the squad: “Hiddink will definitely leave, even though he’s doing very well here.”

The Dutchman has definitely improved the Blues and their position in the League table, but seems that Antonio Conte will replace him just after he has respected his responsibility with Italian national team on Euro 2016.

The current Italy coach is the strong favourite to replace interim manager Guus Hiddink at Stamford Bridge this summer, without clear opponents such as the hypothesis Massimiliano Allegri or Manuel Pellegrini.

 

 

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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea narrowly beat Norwich away from home last night with a 2-1 victory.

Some bad news for Blues fans came from the game as Brazilian youngster Kenedy was hit with an injury to his groin and Eden Hazard left the field with a limp, despite playing the full 90 minutes.

However, Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has brought some relief claiming that neither injury is too serious.

“Eden has had a difficult time with injuries. 

“It’s good he is playing full, intense games and then he will grow in physical shape. He had some discomfort but I don’t think it’s a big problem. Kenedy was subbed because he has what is hopefully only a small injury in his groin.”

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Currently, Guus Hiddink is Chelsea‘s interim manager after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho before the turn of the year. It’s believed that Hiddink will step down at the end of the season to make room for a new manager, thought to be Juventus boss Antonio Conte.

Since the appointment of Guus Hiddink at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have only lost one game and are now fighting for a place to play in Europe next year. The Daily Mail claims that Blues owner Roman Abramovich is keen to keep Hiddink on the staff at Chelsea as an advisor to the London club, this being a kind of reward for his recent success with the club.

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Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has admitted that he likes his players to have a physical edge to their game. He enjoys watching his players battle with passion, not just on the pitch but with each other during training.

Not long after Hiddinks arrival there was a training ground incident between fiery Diego Costa and attacking midfielder Oscar. Hiddink believes there was nothing too serious about the ‘bust up’ because the 2 are very good friends.

“In the same second they [Oscar and Costa] knew, because they are friends, that they were threatening each other, and deep down asked ‘what are we doing?’

“I like when they go on the edge. Not fighting but resistance. The best players in the league are also strong players, you feel that. There are a lot of benefits to gather when you are well equipped with your balance and your physical fitness.”

“It’s not always you have to be a big, big guy but when I see for instance, you see it often in the defensive part of the game.

“For instance Willian is not a big guy but is fighting into duels defensively as well. He’s smart to do so and willing to do so. That’s the modern footballer.”

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Chelsea Central midfielder Namanja Matic told Chelsea TV that he believes the Blues can still reach the top 6 despite a slow start to the season.

“It’s very important to win games.

“We’re a big team and we have to do this if we want to be closer to the first four. It’s very difficult to catch them, but we’ll try our best to win every game.

“I think we can be in the first six, but we will try to win every game. I know it’s difficult, maybe impossible, but in football anything can happen.

“We will go game by game, step by step, and we will see in the end where we finish in the league.”

Chelsea currently find themselves in 8th position only 5 points behind 5th placed Manchester United.

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Last night, Guus Hiddinnk decided to start with the young Brazilian and that selection has been inspired.
After just 39 seconds Kenedy had collected a pass from Eden Hazard, slipped past two defenders and hit a low-shot past Ruddy into the bottom corner, for his first Premier League goal.

The goal was the fastest Premier League goal of the season, with Kenedy now heading a top five that reads as thus:

Kenedy – Chelsea -39 seconds
Matt Ritchie – Bournemouth – 49 seconds
Enner Valencia – West Ham – 53 seconds
James Milner – Liverpool – 66 seconds
Dele Alli – Spurs – 96 seconds

 

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Norwich manager Alex Neil says he is disappointed with the manner of the goals his side conceded against Chelsea as they lost 2-1 at Carrow Road. The Canaries conceded after 39 seconds to Kenedy’s fastest goal of the Premier League season so far and then Diego Costa‘s strike before half-time should have been ruled out for offside, but by assistant referee’s fault the goal has been awarded, in spite of the protests of players and manager.

“He is offside. I’ve seen it back on the video” Neil said. “You would expect the officials to get it right. It’s disappointing they don’t get it right. They’ll be disappointed they didn’t get it right. But the linesman’s called it how he saw it. It’s not as if he’s two or three yards offside. He’s probably a yard, half a yard. You’d like to think he would’ve got that one correct, but when you’re down at that bottom end those wee bits of fortune that you look for just don’t come your way. We’re disappointed, really frustrated, but it is what it is.”

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink on his side was yet to see a replay of the Costa goal, but was frustrated the Blues had not scored a second prior to then. He said: “I haven’t seen it yet, but if so I can understand if people are frustrated in the other dressing room”.

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Speaking to Norwich City TV after the game, the 21-year-old winger said: “Conceding when we did, we didn’t really give ourselves much of a chance. In the first half I thought we played quite well, but conceding in the first 50 seconds didn’t give us a leg to stand on.”

“We stretched Chelsea from the front a lot more, however everything stems from the first half. We want to do well as a squad to to stay up, so we’re all fighting for each other. Today, we didn’t give ourselves the best chance from the start.”

Redmond insists there is nothing to be gained from dwelling on the disappointment however, with a significant clash away to Swansea City on the horizon this coming weekend.

“We’ve got to keep plugging away at it, because just if we stick together then the wins will come soon. Every game is important; we treat each one as our last one. We believe if we work hard for each other then we’ll give ourselves the best chance possible.”

 

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