“Hazard is out for sure,” said manager Maurizio Sarri. “He has a back problem. We are trying to solve the problem for Sunday.” The Belgian is the club’s top scorer this season, with eight goals and three assists in 11 appearances.
Chelsea forward Eden Hazard will miss Thursday’s Europa League Group L home game with Belarusian champions BATE Borisov because of a back injury. He is expected to return for Sunday’s Premier League game at Burnley.
Hazard was not in the squad for Chelsea’s Europa League opener against Greek side PAOK Salonika on 20 September but came on as a second-half substitute in the 1-0 win over Hungarian champions MOL Vidi on 4 October.
Chelsea are top of Group L with two wins, while BATE are third with one victory. Midfielder Jorginho – who has started all of Chelsea’s Premier League games this season – will be rested as Sarri is keen to rotate his squad before the match against Burnley.
Defender Marcos Alonso, who signed a new contract this week, will be available and Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be handed starts. “This match is not a big problem, because we have to play after five days from the last match,” said Sarri.
“The problem will be on Sunday because on Sunday we will play after 65 hours. So we need to change some of them.
“For example, Jorginho we need to rest now, because he played 90 minutes the two matches with the international team [Italy], and then he played for 100 minutes in the last match [against Manchester United, which had 10 minutes of injury time]. It’s time to rest for him.”
The best of the stats
- This will be Chelsea’s first meeting with Belarusian opposition.
- BATE Borisov have lost three of their four meetings with English clubs (W1) – losing 1-2 at home to Everton in 2009-10, and losing both meetings with Arsenal last season by an aggregate score of 10-2. All matches were in the Europa League group stages.
- Chelsea are looking to win their first three group stage games in a season in major European competition for the first time since the 2010-11 Champions League campaign.
- BATE’s win at MOL Vidi on matchday one ended a run of 12 away games without a win in major European competition, excluding qualifiers (D2, L10).
- Chelsea have attempted 50 shots in the Europa League this season, at least seven more than any other side. However, just 10 of these have been on target (20%), with just two finding the net (4%).
Source: BBC News