Paris Saint-Germain have some inside information on how to keep Chelsea star Eden Hazard quiet when the sides meet in the Champions League this evening.
The Belgian has been world class for the Blues this season and as Chelsea prepare to face PSG, they continue to have to deal with talk of a move to the French capital over the summer.
In preparation for the game, PSG boss Laurent Blanc has let slip that he has experience of playing against the 23-year-old, which could help his side to deal with keeping the midfielder quiet.
“I played against him as a coach, and he was always very impressive, one on one, and how fast on his feet. He's scored goals at Chelsea in England and has the freedom to go everywhere when Chelsea are in a difficult moment. He's still young and has a very bright future,” said the former Manchester United defender.
Plenty of sides have tried, and failed, to find ways of keeping Hazard from affecting big games this season.
He’s an extremely intelligent player in possession of the ball when he’s moving at pace and is equally effective linking up with teammates when he’s confined to wider areas.
The fact Blanc has experience of playing against Hazard, albeit in a training sense, is useful because it provides PSG with a direct insight into his movements and instincts which can’t really be judged from watching video tape or footage.
Blanc was a defender by trade during his playing career so he’s likely to have drilled discipline into his back four ahead of this game.
Hazard is a difficult player for a side to contain because he doesn’t always stay in one area of the field, which suggest a man marking tactic could be the best option with PSG doubling up when possible.
Hazard has the ability to destroy PSG over these two legs in the Champions League but Blanc is not a naïve coach and he’s likely to have retained that knowledge and experience from when he himself was fronted up against the midfield maestro.