Tuesday, March 20, 2018

David Luiz back in contention for Chelsea, but Hazard doubtful

SoccerNews in English Premier League 5 Jan 2018


David Luiz is set to return from a knee injury to bolster Chelsea’s options for this weekend’s FA Cup tie against Norwich City, but Eden Hazard is likely to miss out.

Centre-back David Luiz last featured for the defending Premier League champions in the 4-0 rout of Qarabag in the Champions League in November.

Manager Antonio Conte has had to deny suggestions the player’s extended absence has been down to a personality clash, while the Brazilian has been linked with a January exit.

The 30-year-old could play a part in the third-round FA Cup clash at Carrow Road, although star forward Hazard is suffering from a calf complaint.

“David Luiz is ready and will be in contention. The only problem we have is with Eden Hazard, who had a kick in his calf,” Conte told a news conference.

“When you play every two days, you have to make many rotations. My idea is to continue like the past and make rotations.

“I believe in my players. We want to try to get to the next round.”

Conte was also quizzed on the confidence of striker Alvaro Morata, who struggled in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw against Arsenal.

“It was a pity because if he scores we win the game against Arsenal,” Conte added.

“In the two last games Morata was unlucky but I was very happy for his work for the team, for his commitment. He has to continue in this way and for sure this situation will change.”

Asked if the Spain striker has been an effective replacement for Diego Costa, who has now joined Atletico Madrid, Conte added: “The stats are that Morata scored 12 goals this season, seven assists.

“I think until now the stats are good for this player and don’t forget he is a young player, only 25 years old. It is his first season playing with regularity and I am very happy.

“The club is very happy for his commitment, for this player. We are talking about a young striker who can become one of the best in the world in the future.

“I repeat, I don’t see problems with Alvaro.”



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