Conte pleased with Hazard's timely return

Posted September 13, 2017

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said the Blues must take their time to get ready by playing well against lower-ranked teams before getting ready for big guns Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus on their return to the Champions League.

Said Conte: "We all know very well the importance of (Hazard) for us".

Eden Hazard returned to the Blues squad, but only started on the bench alongside new signings Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater.

Conte had created a potent mix by adding Argentine forward Carlos Tevez and Spanish striker Fernando Llorente to a team bolstered by the emergence of Paul Pogba. "We said the first six games would be a challenge", said Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare.

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Manchester City and Manchester United remain more heavily favoured in this season's Premier League title race by some pundits, while expectations for Chelsea's return to the Champions League are seen as relatively modest.

"But for sure we played two days ago".

I had the chance to play with my national team and did a good job there (over the global break) and for the last month I've just been working hard to be fit,"he added". There are less games in the Champions League but when you reach the latter stages the competition is very strong'.

"In England it is not easy to win but I have good players". The risk could be to play with the same players as against Leicester, and then after the game [you're asked] why you didn't change the team because the team was exhausted.

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"I must be realistic, I must be calm, to make the best decision for these seven games".

The midfielder picked up the injury in training on Sunday, but Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte otherwise has a fully fit squad to choose from and hinted he will rotate his players.

"To be the best player in the Premier League last season was a great thing, and I think this season is confirming this".

"It's not easy adapting to a new country with a different style of play but I am working hard".

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"We had a bad start against Burnley (they lost 3-2 at home) and some other difficulties but three wins in a row is important for the players because they are doing very well". Of course I haven't won the Champions League yet.