Saturday, May 25, 2019

Hazard starts Europa League semi-final against Eintracht

SoccerNews in English Premier League 9 May 2019

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Eden Hazard starts for Chelsea in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt having been on the bench last week.

Hazard has been used sparingly in the competition this season, with Maurizio Sarri only naming him in his side twice before Thursday’s tie at Stamford Bridge.

But, with Chelsea having already secured Champions League qualification by guaranteeing a top-four Premier League finish, Hazard comes into the Blues XI.

He will provide support to Olivier Giroud, the top goalscorer in the competition with 10, and Willian is also in attack with Gonzalo Higuain benched. Ruben Loftus-Cheek starts in midfield with N’Golo Kante injured.

It could be Hazard’s last appearance at Stamford Bridge as there are reports in Spain he is close to sealing a long-rumoured move to Real Madrid.

Eintracht welcome back Ante Rebic to their team after he missed the first leg, a 1-1 draw in Frankfurt, due to suspension.

He forms a dangerous duo in attack alongside the in-demand striker Luka Jovic, who has been linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid, with Sebastian Haller on the bench after missing the first leg because of injury.

Jovic was rested for Eintracht’s Bundesliga game at the weekend but was introduced from the bench by Adi Hutter before half-time with his side 6-1 down to top-four rivals Bayer Leverkusen.

The Serbia striker has hit nine goals in the Europa League this term, including netting against old club Benfica in the quarter-finals, with only Giroud more prolific in the tournament.

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