March 24, 2018

Conte happy with Hazard in false nine role

12 March 2018, 09:00 | Marlene Fleming

Busquets v Fabregas and other key battles that could decide Barcelona v Chelsea

Eden Hazard left was vocal of Antonio Conte's tactics against Manchester City but can expect another outing in which Chelsea cede the majority of possession when they face Barcelona in the last-16 second leg of the Uefa Champions League on Wednesday. T

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has indicated Eden Hazard will have to get used to playing as a false nine.

"I think this is part of our job".

The 29-year-old is enjoying his best season at Chelsea, with his first-half goal against Palace his fifth in as many games and his 13th of the season.

'If I think it's right for the team to play in this way, it's okay. [Andros] Townsend for me is a really good player, Benteke. there are many good players in their squad. I think that on Sunday he was well but, at the same time, it was right not to take a risk.

The gaffer hints that he trusts the two forwards but refused to guarantee them a place in the starting line-up against Palace. One has to go on the bench. "I wanted to keep him on the bench longer". This is not my habit. He's working very hard and he's helping the team. We conceded only two shots to Manchester City.

'I didn't see a lot of shots on goal from Manchester City, and this is very odd.

"Against City, there is the possibility to lose the game".

Olivier Giroud centre and Alvaro Morata are Chelsea's two striker options but Antonio Conte may choose to use Eden Hazard again in the No 9 role. Matt Dunham  AP

Iniesta missed the La Liga leader's 2-0 win over bottom side Malaga on Saturday after picking up a hamstring injury in last week's victory over Atletico Madrid.

The Frenchman is an increasingly favourable option at the Camp Nou, where Chelsea will expect to be starved of the ball, given Hazard's reluctance to play through the middle and the reality that Álvaro Morata is still struggling for form and confidence.

"But the tactics were the same against Barcelona and, against Barcelona, I didn't listen to anyone complaining". We have to improve in personality, especially when there is a lot of pressure from our opponent. I did this once.

Asked to explain what happened, the former Juventus boss added: "On Friday it was very cold and after the training session he passed out briefly in the dressing room".

Terry left the club in the summer to join Aston Villa on a free transfer, and has played a key part as they look to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

It was the visitor's first away win in seven games and the result brought about a slump in form for the Blues.

"During the global break they made me [do] an interview".

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