Chelsea

Chelsea team news: Eden Hazard absent for Europa League opener

Chelsea team news: Eden Hazard absent for Europa League opener

Chelsea will kick-off their Europa League campaign with an away trip to Greece where they will face PAOK on Thursday.

Maurizio Sarri is yet to taste defeat in a competitive match as Blues boss and will be expecting his side to continue their great start to the season.

However, according to the club’s official website, the Stamford Bridge outfit will be without a number of key players for the trip to Thessaloniki.

The biggest omission from Sarri’s squad, in which he has only taken 21 players from a possible 25, is Eden Hazard, who has remained in London.

The Belgian ace has been the standout performer for the Blues once again this season, however, Thursday’s game has been viewed as the ideal opportunity for him to get a rest following a busy summer.

Mateo Kovacic has not travelled either as he picked up a knock during their win against Cardiff City, whilst David Luiz has not been risked either.

Emerson Palmieri remains absent with a virus, whilst there are places for Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

The Verdict:

Chelsea will be confident that they can get a win against PAOK on Thursday night with the amount of talent they possess.

The absence of Hazard and Kovacic will be big for the club, however, the likes of Willian and Cesc Fabregas would be more than suitable to fill in for the duo and still provide an attacking threat to Sarri’s side.

The Blues will be looking to top their group, with Videoton and BATE Borisov their other opponents, and a win against the Greek outfit will be considered routine for the Premier League giants.

Chelsea fans – thoughts?

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