Reports are circulating that Chelsea’s man of the moment, Eden Hazard, has not traveled to Stoke City ahead of the Premier League leaders game against the Potters on Saturday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
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Hazard, 26, was apparently not with the squad on Friday as they traveled up to Stoke.
Reports from Kristof Terreur, a journalist for HLN in Belgium, say Hazard has suffered a “muscle injury” and the Belgian national team have been made aware that Hazard will not be traveling to play against Greece and Russia in the upcoming international break.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had previously stated that he had injury concerns over two players but wouldn’t reveal the identity of those players.
Hazard ripped Manchester United apart on Monday in a 1-0 FA Cup win for Chelsea which sent them through to the semifinals but during the game he was targeted by United’s players. Ander Herrera was sent off for two yellow cards for fouls on Hazard, while the Belgian was also hacked down on multiple other occasions.
That led to Conte criticizing United’s tactics — stating “for me, that is not football” — as the safety of his star player came into question.
It seems like Hazard’s rough treatment from United’s players may well have had a lasting impact and his potential absence could give Stoke the boost they need to potentially upset the PL leaders and breathe new life into the title race.