Hazard wary of city top player threat

The Blues will face Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday and their Belgian forward is crossing his fingers that his countryman will endure an off day.

Eden Hazard admits that Belgium international colleague Kevin De Bruyne is a “top player” and a man capable of troubling Chelsea when they travel to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The Blues have surged to the top of the Premier League table but will face another stern test of their title credentials in their next outing.

Seven successive wins have carried Antonio Conte’s side to the summit, with the goals flowing and key men performing at the peak of their powers. Naija and Bet

The defensive unit has also proved to be watertight, with Tottenham breaching the Chelsea back line for the first time in 601 minutes last time out.

Keeping another clean sheet against City will be a big ask, given the attacking weapons that Pep Guardiola has at his disposal.

Hazard acknowledges as much, with a familiar face set to lead the home charge.

De Bruyne was deemed surplus to requirements by Chelsea during Jose Mourinho’s spell at the helm but the 25-year-old has blossomed into a player with the kind of match-altering ability that could come back to his haunt his former employers at the weekend.

“He’s a top player,” said Hazard. “He didn’t get his chance here at Chelsea but did very well in Germany and, since he went to City, he’s been on fire.

“Sometimes you don’t get the chance to play, or the system the manager uses isn’t right for you, but now he’s full of confidence. I hope next week he’ll have less confidence!

“It’s good for Belgium that two players are fighting for the title in England but I hope when we go to the national team we don’t fight! We’re good friends.”

De Bruyne has netted three times in 20 appearances for club and country this season, while providing a division-high seven Premier League assists.

Hazard has laid on just the one goal for a team-mate in top-flight competition this term but he has plundered 10 goals in 20 outings for Chelsea and Belgium.


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