Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp must surely be relieved with the news that Eden Hazard is not available for the Reds’ UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday.
The Merseysiders welcome Los Blancos to Anfield for the second-leg of their quarter-final meeting, which they will go into 3-1 behind on aggregate after the first-leg in Spain. However, Hazard will not be one of those to take to the pitch, with the Belgian not included in the Spaniards’ travelling squad with a reported ankle injury.
His absence will be a huge boost to the Reds’ chances of progression.
Before his move to the Santiago Bernabeu, Hazard proved to be a constant thorn in Liverpool’s side.
As a matter of fact, the now £36m-rated midfielder has not scored more goals throughout his career past any other opponent.
Even more worryingly, in matches where Hazard had provided a goal or an assist, a total of eight games, the Reds have not managed to win a single one.
One wonderful contribution that comes to mind straight away when considering Hazard coming up against Liverpool is his wonderful goal in the 2-1 Carabao Cup victory for Chelsea at Anfield in 2018 – a strike that led current Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp to label him as “special”.
So, whilst Hazard has not yet hit the heights expected of him in Madrid, having scored just four goals in all competitions – ironically fewer than he has netted against Liverpool in his entire career – that previous record would certainly have been a concern.
Nevertheless, with Hazard now ruled out, Liverpool can relax in the sense that he will certainly not be having another starring role at Anfield as the Reds attempt to overturn their first-leg deficit, although Madrid showed in the first leg that they still have more than enough firepower to cause the Reds some big problems.
AND in more news, remind yourself of a dreadful sale completed by the Reds in 2016…