Eden Hazard out to reproduce Chelsea form in Croatia clash
EDEN Hazard is confident he can replicate his Chelsea form for Belgium as they target a key victory in tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Group A rivals Croatia. Hazard has had a hand in seven of Chelsea’s eight Barclays Premier League goals so far this season, following his £32million summer move to Stamford Bridge.
That has served to heighten the expectation on his shoulders as part of a Belgium team packed with Premier League talent – but the 21-year-old insists he does not feel the pressure.
Hazard is just determined to help Belgium build on their 2-0 victory over Wales and secure a victory that would be key to their chances of reaching Brazil 2014.
“I know everyone expects a lot from me and I also know that I can do better,” said Hazard. “I have played 200 games. I don’t feel the pressure.
“Three points against the strongest opponents in this group would obviously be good for the confidence. But they are a strong team. The last time we played them we lost (1-0 in March 2010). They play a bit like Spain and keep the ball. If we want to get six points out of six, we will have to produce a better performance than against Wales.”
Belgium manager Marc Wilmots has opted to start with Porto midfielder Steven Defour instead of Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele, who lined up against Wales.
Defour will be charged with neutralising the threat of Croatia’s Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric, as he did to Wesley Sneijder in last month’s friendly against Holland.
While Belgium opened their campaign with a 2-0 win against Wales, Igor Stimac’s Croatia defeated Macedonia 1-0 with a goal by Everton’s Nikica Jelavic.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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