Hazard set to be on the bench against Palace

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

Maurizio Sarri has indicated that Eden Hazard will be a substitute for Chelsea against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Hazard, who has been nursing a back problem, trained on Thursday and is expected to return to action this weekend.

However, speaking at a media conference on Friday afternoon, boss Sarri said he had doubts over whether the Belgian is fit enough to play a full match.

Asked if Hazard is likely to play against the Eagles, Sarri said: “I don’t know.”

The Italian added: “Yesterday he had a large part in training and maybe he will not be ready to play 90 minutes at the moment because that was his first training in the last two weeks.

“Probably he will be able to play 40 or 45 minutes and for us that is important. But I want to speak to him first.”

Chelsea remain unbeaten under Sarri. [Picture: Steve Paston/PA Wire]

Sarri also confirmed that Gary Cahill will remain as Chelsea’s official club captain despite the defender no longer being a first-team regular.

He said: “The captain is Cahill, and if he’s not on the pitch it’s (Cesar) Azpilicueta.

“Our captain is Cahill. Cahill was the captain last season and I have spoken with his (team) mates, and everybody told me that he was really a very good captain.

“For me Cahill is very important on the pitch but also off the pitch.”