Blues optimistic over Hazard injury

14 April 2014 01:01

Eden Hazard could return from injury 'sooner rather than later' as Chelsea continue their push for the Barclays Premier League title.

The Belgian star missed Sunday's 1-0 win at Swansea after limping out of Chelsea's midweek Champions League quarter-final victory over Paris St Germain.

Manager Jose Mourinho made five changes for the trip to south Wales, where his team triumphed through Demba Ba's second-half strike which keeps them two points behind league leaders Liverpool.

"Every player is fit at this stage, with the exception of Eden, who should be sooner rather than later. It is still a little bit too early to say for sure," Chelsea assistant first-team coach Steve Holland said.

"Having a clear week this week is a big advantage.

"I can't stress enough the extra demand that the Champions League brings with those fixtures in the week. It is just what the doctor ordered to give the players a bit of a break this week."

Chelsea are next in action when the Premier League's bottom club Sunderland visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

And the Blues know there can realistically be no slip-ups between now and the end of the season - including when they visit Liverpool on April 27 - if they are to land a fourth Premier League title in 10 seasons.

Liverpool's thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester City on Sunday was played out as Chelsea prepared for their fixture at the Liberty Stadium.

"No matter how much you try to hide it and take the players' minds away from it, in this world of technology that we live in there is always a way of someone finding out at some point," added Holland.

"We were aware as the afternoon progressed from when we had the team meeting to when we left for the stadium, then when we were in the dressing room and out on the pitch, that the scenario was changing all the time.

"Obviously, it was a good day for Liverpool, and it looks like being an exciting conclusion to the season.

"We have probably got to win all of our games, one way or another.

"That's the likelihood, but we have been facing that task now for a good couple of weeks, certainly on the back of our result at Crystal Palace. I think any leeway we had was eliminated after that result."

Swansea's target over their final four league games is all about securing top-flight survival.

They visit Newcastle next Saturday, standing only three points above the relegation zone. The Swans have won just two out of 10 league games since Garry Monk assumed head coach responsibility more than two months ago.

"We are not in a good position, clearly," Monk said.

"We're not secure and we have four games left. It's not a situation we want to be in.

"The difference is we are not chasing anything, we are not looking to scramble six or seven points to get out of it.

"We have it in our own hands, but we have to do something quickly and get points on the board in our next game. The players are aware of it, but it's a case of making sure we do it.

"Two wins should make it secure, but we can only think about winning the next game.

"I said to the players that we've had it a few times where we have shown the desire and attitude to not be beaten and try to push on and win the game, but unfortunately come away with nothing.

"But I've told them if they do exactly what they did there (against Chelsea) for the last four games, we will have no problems."

Source: PA