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In order to get the result Chelsea need in order to secure their best chances of progression in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash in the Champions League against Galatasaray in Turkey this evening, Wednesday, Eden Hazard may have to alter his own individual style, according to a Stamford Bridge legend Gianfranco Zola.
In an interview with Standard Sport, the diminutive Italian said: '[Hazard] is a player that will always catch the opposition’s eye and Galatasaray will come up with ways to look after him and keep him quiet.'
In the event that Hazard is double-marked in order to best stifle his effectiveness in the final third, Zola said that space will be freed up for others to thrive, so attackers such as Brazilian duo Oscar and Willian, or the preferred striking option Samuel Eto'o or Fernando Torres, will need to take on the chance creating or goal-scoring burden.
'Sometimes it may be a case of Hazard doing what is right for the team if the opposition are playing defensively. They may get physical with him and it’s not easy to handle. But it’s all about being patient, waiting for the time and space to cause the opposition trouble. Plus if they’re paying extra attention to him, there should be space for someone else to exploit.
'But the more playing time he gets and experience of games like tonight, he will learn how to cope with being marked closely. Oscar, Willian, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o can also be dangerous.It would be a mistake by Galatasaray to pay attention only to Hazard. Hopefully he can find the time and space to give them problems but it is up to the others to contribute as well.'
One player Chelsea will not need to pay too much attention to is Didier Drogba, according to former defender Michael Duberry, who instead warned the Blue roster that they best be prepared for what will no doubt be a hostile atmosphere in Istanbul. Duberry reflected on his own experiences of the ground, where he had to have shielded security protection from the walk from the dressing room to the pitch.
David Luiz, meanwhile, will likely be one of the first players to shake Drogba's hand, as the Ivorian was crucial in the defender's own self-belief when it came to overcoming an injury, however, he insisted that whatever politeness occurred pre-match would be gone once the referee blows his whistle as he hopes to ruin the Drog day afternoon.
And finally, a one-time target of Chelsea, Blaise Matuidi, has extended his contract with Paris Saint Germain - he is now committed to a four year deal.
It is unlikely Matuidi would have been a continued target as the Blues did go on to acquire former star Nemanja Matic in January.
image: © Ben Sutherland