Chelsea heads to north London to face Arsenal on Sunday needing just two more Premier League victories to claim the title this season.
The Blues face an in-form Gunners having been the most consistent team in the English top-flight.
One of the main reasons for Chelsea’s success has been the form of Belgium international winger Eden Hazard, who is the player that provides glitz, skill and the star quality for the south west London blues.
Hazard is one of the favourites to claim the PFA Player of the Year, after being in the Premier League team of the Year. For me he deserves the accolade.
Eden Hazard is a match-winner it is that plain and simple. He has scored 13 goals and has nine assists in the Premier League this season in a Blues team who are the second highest scorers in the top-flight.
His close control and ability to manipulate the ball has made him one of the best players in the Premier League. In some people’s minds Hazard is now the best player in the English top-flight and it would be hard to argue with that at the moment.
When Jose Mourinho uses more cautious tactics in big games it is Hazard who provides the thrust and threat, just like last weekend when the Blues defeated Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, when the winger scored the winning goal and also hit the woodwork.
Eden Hazard has always had the skill to be successful in the Premier League, but in past seasons the 24-year-old has sometimes found it difficult to produce consistency. He dazzled one week and then the next week he would struggle to have an impact in the game.
Hazard now seems to have found consistency in his performances, producing big moments in more games this season.
One aspect of Hazard’s game that has improved in recent seasons and especially this season has been his work-rate. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho expects his players to work hard, as well as produce bits of skill and there are no passengers in the Portuguese boss’s teams.
No doubt Mourinho has urged the Belgium international to work harder and it has shown in his consistency this season. Hazard is now being talked about as a top level player, which had never really happened.
His performances this season has led to speculation linking him with a big money move to Spanish giants Real Madrid. Asked whether his long-term was at Chelsea he told Sky Sports: “Why not?”
“I am happy here. I play with big players and the most important thing is I want to win trophies and with this club, it is possible.”
Hazard did reveal his ambition in the Champions League though by saying: “Champions League is difficult,” he added. “We play against a big team, but one day I hope I can win this trophy as it is the best. All the big players have won the Champions League and I hope I can bring, like Didier [Drogba] did, the Champions League to Stamford Bridge.”
Sunday’s game could be a vital one for both sides. Chelsea heads into this game top of the table and ten points clear of third-place Arsenal and nine clear of second place Manchester City. Chelsea are champions elect, but a Blues win would all-but seal the title.
Arsenal face their London rivals on an eight-match Premier League winning run and are in need of a win to confirm an automatic spot in the Champions League for next season. The Gunners will be in confident mood heading into the clash.
If Chelsea does indeed pick-up a victory against the Gunners on Sunday then no doubt Eden Hazard will have played a big part in the win. Football is a team game, but it is players like Eden Hazard who help teams win trophies and it looks like they will do just that this season.
Should Eden Hazard win PFA Player of the Year?