Far from the emerging crisis many anticipated after unexpectedly losing to Burnley at home on the Premier League’s opening weekend, it’s actually incredibly impressive that Chelsea are just one point off the top of the table and have already beaten three decent sides in Tottenham, Everton and Leicester in the absence of their star player – Eden Hazard.
Indeed, the Belgium international began the campaign on the sidelines due to injury and is only just returning to action, making his second appearance of the season from the substitutes bench last night in a comfortable 6-0 win over Qarabag in the Champions League.
Of course, the primary objective was for Chelsea’s talismanic attacker to get some much-needed minutes under his belt, but his lack of sharpness – especially considering the limited quality of the opposition – was a little worrying. From just over half an hour on the pitch, Hazard produced one effort at goal, which wasn’t on target, one created chance and two dribbles, while missing 25% of his passes and suffering one dispossession and two unsuccessful touches.
That may not matter much when Chelsea are already storming to a victory over Qarabag, but it does create doubts over whether Hazard should start arguably the Blues’ biggest Premier League test of the season so far – a London derby with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
So, Chelsea fans, would you start the 78-cap attacker against the Gunners? Let us know by voting below…