Chelsea News – Conte downplays Hazard concerns

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is adamant Eden Hazard has not suffered a further injury setback following his substitution against Arsenal in the EFL Cup.

The Belgium international was substituted with seven minutes remaining of the encounter with the semi-final first leg against the Gunners on a knife-edge at 0-0.

Tiemoue Bakayoko was brought on before the game finished goalless at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night before the return leg at the Emirates.

There was some concern that Hazard, who shrugged off a calf injury to feature in the match, had suffered another setback but Conte is adamant the former Lille star will be ready for Saturday’s Premier League encounter against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

He said regarding the decision to take off Hazard: “No, it was a technical decision.”

The Italian then went on to defend his attackers who were criticised for not taking their chances after another stalemate against Arsenal.

“You must be worried if you don’t create and it is difficult not to score,” Conte added. “Every game we create chances. This season we might be a bit unlucky, but we haven’t taken the chances. The speech is not for the strikers, [Andreas] Christensen had two fantastic chances to score.

“It is not just the strikers, you have to take chances. The semi-final it is important to take your chances.”

Chelsea are 3/10 to win, 19/4 to draw and 11/1 to lose to the Foxes on Saturday.

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