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 By PA Sport

Chelsea optimistic over Hazard injury

Eden Hazard could return from injury "sooner rather than later'' as Chelsea continue their push for the Premier League title, according to assistant first-team coach Steve Holland.

Eden Hazard has been Chelsea's outstanding player not just of late, but of the whole season.
Eden Hazard has scored 14 Premier League goals for Chelsea this season.

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The Belgium international star missed Sunday's 1-0 win at Swansea after limping out of Chelsea's midweek Champions League quarterfinal victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

Manager Jose Mourinho made five changes for the trip to South Wales, where his team triumphed through Demba Ba's second-half strike to stay two points behind league leaders Liverpool.

''Every player is fit at this stage, with the exception of Eden [Hazard], who should be sooner rather than later. It is still a little bit too early to say for sure,'' said Holland.

''Having a clear week this week is a big advantage. I can't stress enough the extra demand that the Champions League brings with those fixtures in the week. It is just what the doctor ordered to give the players a bit of a break this week.''

Chelsea are next in action when the Premier League's bottom club Sunderland visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and the Blues know there can realistically be no slip-ups between now and the end of the season -- especially when visiting Anfield on April 27 -- if they are to land a fourth title in 10 seasons.

Liverpool's thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester City on Sunday was played out as Chelsea prepared for their fixture at the Liberty Stadium, and Holland says the club’s players must remain focused on the task at hand.

''No matter how much you try to hide it and take the players' minds away from it, in this world of technology that we live in there is always a way of someone finding out at some point,'' continued Holland.

''We were aware that as the afternoon progressed from when we had the team meeting to when we left for the stadium, then when we were in the dressing room and out on the pitch, that the scenario was changing all the time.

''Obviously, it was a good day for Liverpool, and it looks like being an exciting conclusion to the season. We have probably got to win all of our games, one way or another.

''That's the likelihood, but we have been facing that task now for a good couple of weeks, certainly on the back of our result at Crystal Palace. I think any leeway we had was eliminated after that result.''


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