Hazard on course to return against Palace

Eden Hazard has been nursing a back problem. [Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire]

Eden Hazard is likely to sit out Chelsea’s Carabao Cup game against Derby on Wednesday but looks on course to return for Sunday’s Premier League match against Crystal Palace.

Hazard has been out with a back problem he recently suffered against Manchester United and did not feature in the Blues’ 4-0 win at Burnley. 

Speaking at a media conference on Tuesday afternoon, Chelsea assistant boss Gianfranco Zola indicated that Hazard is set to play this weekend.

“He’s certainly much better. Maybe tomorrow he’s going to be joining us in training,” Zola said.

“I’m not sure he’s going to be involved in the game tomorrow but he’s looking very good for the weekend, so we are pleased because that’s such an important player for us.”

Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud and Pedro are struggling ahead of the Derby game but youngster Ethan Ampadu could be available following a knee problem.

Pedro of Chelsea
Pedro went off during the victory at Burnley

Giroud is carrying a knock, while Pedro went off during the Burnley game because of a stomach ache. 

“Pedro has had a stomach ache and he came off on Sunday,” Zola said.

“He was getting better but I think there is still a little problem, so we don’t know. We are going to assess him tomorrow.

“Giroud has a little fatigue problem with one of the legs and we’re going to assess him as well.

“Ampadu has been back in training yesterday, and today or tomorrow we’re going to decide if he’s going to be part of the team.”