Zidane has Hazard ‘trick up his sleeve’ for Real Madrid vs Chelsea
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Real Madrid superstar Eden Hazard could play a major role in Chelsea’s Champions League fate following reports he may make a surprise start against his old club on Wednesday.
The semi-final is finely poised after the two teams drew 1-1 in the first leg in Madrid, where Hazard failed to make a winning impact off the bench for Los Blancos.
But Real manager Zinedine Zidane is reportedly considering the Belgian to start in his return to west London despite his recurring injury woes this season, according to AS.
Hazard, 30, has missed six of his side’s last seven Champions League games and hasn’t started in the competition since November.
Los Blancos travel to the English capital knowing they must score to reach a fifth final in eight seasons, with Christian Pulisic’s opener at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano giving the Blues the advantage.
Real have gone unbeaten in 19 matches across all competitions ahead of the second leg. Hazard—who scored 110 goals in 352 appearances for Chelsea prior to a record transfer to Madrid in 2019—made his first league start in three months as Zidane’s men beat Osasuna 2-0 on Saturday.
The 30-year-old managed just 22 appearances for Real in his maiden campaign and hasn’t fared much better this season, scoring three goals in 17 games thus far.
Former employers Chelsea have gone from strength to strength since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager in January, meanwhile.
The west Londoners have recorded only two losses in 23 games under the German, one of which was in their last home outing in the Champions League, a 1-0 defeat to Porto in the quarter-finals.
While Hazard stands a chance of starting in what would be only his second career appearance against Chelsea, Zidane has other injury concerns to consider.
Real captain Sergio Ramos is still a doubt following a knee injury, while centre-back partner Raphael Varane has been ruled out of the second leg.
Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez will also be absent through injury, while left-back Marcelo could miss out due to his commitments in the local elections in Spain.
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- Real Madrid FC
- Chelsea FC
- Champions League
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