Chelsea ace Eden Hazard may yet face Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Sunday. Antonio Conte revealed the jet-heeled Belgian is on the brink of fitness after recovering from an ankle injury.
Hazard went under the knife to correct an issue with his ankle in the summer but the Blues coach says his player is edging ever closer to full fitness.
Conte would love to be able to call on Hazard to start against the Gunners. He has enjoyed some game time
from the bench in Chelsea’s last two games at Leicester City and at home to Qarabag, but so far hasn’t been involved from the kick-off.
And the Italian coach said: “For sure he’s improving. Having this patience with him is paying off. He is very close to being totally fit. We have to continue in this way. I have to make the best decision for the team and the players, but he’s improving a lot and is very close to being 100 per cent fit.”
Meanwhile Conte has reiterated his thoughts on the importance of the encounter with Arsene Wenger’s side. He added: “Arsenal are one of the top six teams in England. They have a very good squad and have the chance to fight for the title. It’s a massive game for us. When you play against Arsenal it’s always a massive game – the same as against City, United, Liverpool, Tottenham.
“Anything can happen. We have to fight against a rival. I watched their game on Thursday and they rotated a lot of players and rested a lot of players for the game against us, so I don’t think the fact they played after us is an advantage.”
Conte won’t be able to call on new boy Danny Drinkwater for the clash with the Gunners, though, because he is still suffering from the calf injury he picked up in training.