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Hazard set to return to Chelsea lineup

08 Nov 2013 13:47:05

Hazard set to return to Chelsea lineup

Eden Hazard will return to the Chelsea squad for Saturday's match with West Brom after accepting Jose Mourinho's decision to omit him from the midweek defeat of Schalke for disciplinary reasons.

Mourinho declined to elaborate on the exact reasons for Hazard's absence from the 3-0 win in Champions League Group E, only promising to move on, and defender Branislav Ivanovic says the Belgium forward has done the same.

"It is important for the team, but also Eden accepts this as a discipline and he will be in the next game," Ivanovic said.

"It means we are serious, and we are all together - and I don't think he has a problem with that."

Chelsea return to domestic duty following the surprise loss at Newcastle to face Steve Clarke's West Brom, with their strikers in buoyant mood.

All three of Chelsea's strikers have scored in two games against Schalke.

Fernando Torres, who is out for around three weeks with an adductor injury, scored twice in Gelsenkirchen and Samuel Eto'o scored twice in west London before Demba Ba added a third.

Eto'o could retain his starting place against Albion and, Ivanovic says, is nearing his best after belatedly hitting his stride.

The 32-year-old Cameroon striker has started life at Stamford Bridge slowly following his summer move from Anzhi Makhachkala but now has three goals after breaking his duck against Cardiff.

"Samuel is working very hard for us and I think for us it is very important that our strikers start to score goals and help the team a lot," Ivanovic said.

"Age doesn't matter - it is what he shows on the pitch. It is important to recover well, and to try to make the next games because Fernando now is injured."

Eto'o has won the Champions League three times and was part of Mourinho's winning side for Inter, who beat Chelsea en route to winning the tournament.

"It was very difficult to play against him," added Ivanovic, recalling the 2010 competition.

"In that moment he was one of the best strikers and I think he can be at the same level again.

"But the important thing is to play and to score goals for (the team).

"I think the first goal showed that he has a big wish to prove (himself) and to go forward. We know he has come here to help us."


PA

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