Hiddink backs Hazard to ‘deliver’ against PSG


Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink expects Paris St-Germain to face a much-improved Eden Hazard when the sides meet in their Champions League second leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Hazard was substituted after 71 minutes of the round-of-16 first leg in Paris, which Chelsea lost 2-1.

The Belgian playmaker was widely criticised for an ineffective performance.

But Hiddink says Hazard’s below-par display was understandable because of the groin injury he sustained against Crystal Palace in early January.

“At that time when he was playing he was just coming back from a rather severe injury so we could not ask him to be top, top game fit,” Hiddink said.

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink
Chelsea are unbeaten in the league since Hiddink’s return to Stamford Bridge

“He had two or three actions where you could see it was Hazard, but we are a few more weeks into fitness and know he can show what he is capable of.

“The reason for his substitution was not to go in to a dangerous time because of his injury. We are thinking he can deliver now in his full fitness.”

Meanwhile, Hiddink confirmed that winger Pedro and striker Diego Costa are both in contention to return after missing the home draw against Stoke City because of injury.

“Pedro did well working with the physios and he made a good impression today so he will be back in the squad,” the Dutchman said.

“He had a little bit of problem in the weekend. He was in training today so we will see for tomorrow’s game.”