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Tuchel opens up on Chelsea reunion with ‘top quality’ Hazard

Thomas Tuchel has opened up on Chelsea’s reunion with Eden Hazard as the club prepare to face Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Chelsea travel to the Spanish capital for the first leg of their last four tie with Real Madrid tomorrow, with the west London side having reached this stage for the first time in seven years.

 

Tuchel’s side face a difficult challenge against a Real Madrid team who have enjoyed huge success at this level in recent years, the record 13-time winners having lifted the trophy four times in just five seasons between 2014 and 2018.

The tie will also see Chelsea come up against a former favourite in Eden Hazard, who is expected to be fit to feature after coming off the bench as a late substitute against Real Betis on Saturday.

Hazard spent seven successful seasons at Stamford Bridge before a big-money move to the Bernabeu, winning six major trophies and being named as Chelsea’s Player of the Season on four occasions.

The 30-year-old has endured a frustrating time since moving to Real Madrid with fitness and form struggles, but Tuchel is well aware of the threat posed by the ‘top quality’ Belgium international as Hazard prepares to face his former side for the first time.

“Eden is a top quality player, he was a key player at this club and in this league, we have the biggest respect for him,” Tuchel told his pre-match press conference.

“Many people know him well but we don’t only talk about him, he was a key player but now he plays for Real Madrid.

“He is fit, had a comeback in the last game. If he plays, I am sure he wants to make a point. They can leave his spot open and only play with ten if they want.”

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