Antonio Conte will be glad to see a fit Eden Hazard return from international break as Chelsea visit the King Power Stadium to play Leicester City.
Chelsea managed to steady their start of their title defence with a 2-0 win over Everton. And, Antonio Conte will be looking for his side to go on a run now to establish their title credentials this season as well. The Italian manager’s cause is boosted by the return of Eden Hazard, who played for Belgium during the international break.
The Belgian had failed to feature for Chelsea up until the international break owing to his injury. But, Roberto Martinez fielded Hazard in both games and despite receiving much ire from Chelsea fans, it seemed to have worked out for the better, as Hazard returned to club football with full match fitness.
It seems Conte agrees with the Belgian manager’s decision to field Hazard as he reflected on the same during his pre-match conference.
“Eden is available, he is in the squad for the game. He is improving a lot. He worked very hard to be ready. Now I can count on him, but for sure I have to decide the right moment and the right minutes for him. When there is a bad injury and surgery, it’s normal to pay attention to the recovery.”
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Conte also highlighted the importance of the two deadline-day buys. While he iterated that Drinkwater is a strong addition, the Italian chose to enunciate more on the decision to bring Zappacosta over to Stamford Bridge, who he thinks will prove to be a quality player for Chelsea.
“Davide Zappacosta played against Israel for the national team which shows he is in good physical condition. He worked with me at the national team, he knows my style of football and my ideas very well, and for this reason it is more simple for him to adapt himself to our style.”
“He is a good, young player and he has a lot of space to improve. He makes good runs during the game, he has good quality and he is a wing-back. Davide is ready and very soon you can see his performances. It’s a great chance for him. It’s not easy to play in another country with another type of football, but he has the right characteristics to adapt himself very soon.”
It will be interesting to see who gives way for Davide Zappacosta – Victor Moses or Marcos Alonso. The Italian can play on either side and will be a huge addition to the side, given the added fixtures thanks to their participation in the UEFA Champions League.
Elsewhere, Andreas Christensen will again have to be content with a spot on the bench with the trio of Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta putting in decent shifts against Everton.