Maurizio Sarri has made a bold move by naming Eden Hazard on the bench for the first leg of Chelsea’s Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Blues manager clearly has one eye on Sunday’s Premier League clash with Watford, prioritising a top-four finish over Europa League glory.
Chelsea are in control of fourth place, with a two-point cushion over Arsenal and just a couple of games remaining.
However, the winners of the Europa League will also book their place in next season’s Champions League – and fans are stunned to see Hazard rested.
The Belgian has been used sparingly in the earlier stages of the competition, but the Blues are now within touching distance of silverware.
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Chelsea’s opponents are not to be underestimated – Eintracht currently sit fourth in the Bundesliga and eliminated Portuguese giants Benfica en route to the semis.
Instead, Willian and Pedro start on the wings with Olivier Giroud up front rather than Gonzalo Higuain.
The last time Sarri decided he could cope without Hazard was at Cardiff.
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A hapless Chelsea side fell a goal down before the Belgian’s eventual introduction, and ended up 2-1 victors thanks in part to a controversial equaliser from Cesar Azpilicueta,
Some fans are already predicting a rescue job from Hazard at the Commerzbank-Arena.