Tags Posts tagged with "Qualifiers"


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Eden Hazard is back: the Chelsea star is ready to feature in Belgium World Cup 2018 qualifier against Gibraltar this weekend.

Hazard broke his ankle while on duty with his national team last June and spent the summer trying to quickly recovery after undergoing a surgery to reduce the damage shortly after his injury.

After playing a friendly game against QPR and U23 clash with Chelsea, it seems the moment to be back to “serious” football as arrived, as the same Eden confirmed in a press conference today:

“I’m looking forward to play against Gibraltar,” the Chelsea forward claimed.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez added:

“Where Eden is is that every day we get a bit more information. That’s how we’re going to treat the situation.

“Eden played a game that was very, very important for me to see if he was going to be available. He came through against Everton Under-23s really well. He played over 70 minutes, you could see he was growing into the game.

“That gave us a lot of information. When you are at club level and you work with a player who is coming back from injury you need to be a little bit cautious but it is normal that when you see a player on the pitch you can make better decisions.
“At the moment where we are is we’re delighted to have Eden here. He’s going to work with the group as he has been doing.

“We’ve got good relationships with the club and we’ll treat it on a daily basis. If you were going to ask me “would he be available for the Gibraltar game” I would consider that he has got a great possibility.”


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David Luiz is having a sensational season at Chelsea and he has been one of the best player for Antonio Conte‘s team so far.

However, this is not enough for him to be selected for the Brazil squad which will play World Cup qualifiers vs Uruguay and Paraguay in the next few days.

“I am disappointed to not be in the Brazil squad, but I respect the decision” – David Luiz told the Evening Standard.  -“I’m playing regularly and trying to do my best to come back into the squad. Have I been told why I wasn’t picked? No.”


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Juan Mata has defended Chelsea forward and international teammate Diego Costa and his aggressive style of play, despite the Brazil-born striker having just completed a three match ban for his scuffle with Laurent Koscielny in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal.

Costa has failed to find any of form that he did last season. But Mata, who Chelsea sold to Manchester United in 2013, believes that Costa’s style of play is his biggest asset, and that it makes him very difficult to play against.

Speaking ahead of the Spain’s two Euro 2016 qualifiers, Mata said this about Costa, who has been left out of the squad by Vicente del Bosque:

“It’s very difficult to face him. I’d rather have him as a team-mate than a rival. 

“With his movement and his goals he always creates problems, and also because he fights with the centre-backs and causes friction that somehow knocks the opponents’ concentration.

“That’s his game and it has always been that way. It’s not new. Now it seems to have been noticed more because he’s in the Premier League and it’s different from what was there before, but he has always played well.”

“It’s not easy to be the striker in a team like ours, with two midfielders.

“You have to adapt and be patient, because a lot of time can pass without touching the ball but then you have to finish well.

“It’s very complicated and players like [Fernando] Torres and [David] Villa did very well, but for the forward it’s difficult to come and adapt.”

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Eden Hazard has expressed his desire to see international team-mate Christian Benteke join him at Stamford Bridge.

Benteke has been linked with a number of top cubs in England and Europe and Tim Sherwood, Aston Villa’s manager, has recently admitted it is unlikely they will be able to keep the Belgian international.

Chelsea are looking for a new striker after the departure of club legend Didier Drogba, and Benteke with his similar build, strength and speed would appear to be a good replacement for the Ivorian. PFA Player of the Year Hazard is quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying:

“If Christian signs with us, I would be the happiest man in the world.”

He continues:

“I have a great relationship with him and would like nothing better than to play with him. Christian is 25. He is at an age where he has to make a good career choice.

“Not that Aston Villa is a small club but he has already played many great games and can now play in the Champions League.”

Hazard was speaking in Belgium ahead of their European Championship qualifier against Wales, and spoke of his experiences at the end of the Premiership season.

“If you play matches in England, I can assure you it is tough. Small games do not exist here,” he added.

“It is always full 90 minutes. The competition requires so much energy that we might fall short in Europe.

“I cannot complain because we were given a few days holiday after winning the title.”

Benteke, should he sign for Chelsea, would reportedly be worth £32.5 million. The former Genk striker scored 16 goals in 35 appearances last campaign.


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