Eden Hazard says Chelsea must put thoughts of tiredness behind them when they visit Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Blues beat Qarabag 4-0 in Azerbaijan on Wednesday to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League, but didn’t arrive back in the UK until the early hours of Thursday morning.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte complained that this is the second time this season his side have had to play on a Saturday following a Wednesday night game away in the Champions League.
“The time between the two games is very short,” Hazard told Sky Sports.
“We need to adapt and we didn’t adapt well against Manchester City (a 1-0 defeat), so we need to do better on Saturday.
“I want to be feeling good. A lot of players didn’t play, I played only 60 minutes and N’Golo (Kante) also came off so we can be fresh on Saturday, even if the game is close.
“We are professional, we can deal with this. We will do everything, we will do recovery and we will see on Saturday.”
Hazard is likely to be reunited with Alvaro Morata at Anfield, after the striker was rested for much of the game against Qarabag.
Watch this video of the strikers expected to light up the 2018 World Cup:
The pair have struck up an excellent understanding, and it’s a partnership that Pat Nevin believes can inspire his former club to success this season.
“The burgeoning understanding between the front two of Eden and Alvaro is pretty stunning on occasions now,” he told the club’s official website.
“The sheer number of goals and chances being created for each other is fabulous and it should be underlined that Antonio Conte must be applauded for seeing the possibilities first.
“You look at Eden last season and your first thought wouldn’t necessarily be ‘I think he could do better playing in a different role, I better move him infield’.
“It is a partnership that will continue to improve but then by crowbarring Cesc (Fabregas) into the side, he is also perfectly capable of building just as good an understanding with both of the strikers in terms of creation.
“It is quite a turnaround in a short time and of course we know there are a variety of reasons. Eden, Cesc, Alvaro and N’Golo Kante all fully fit and available together would improve any team on the planet.
“There are now plenty of hugely talented options on the bench, but it seems that those players moving into a 3-5-2 type of system has been the proverbial game changer above everything else.”