Chelsea coach Antonio Conte is considering delaying Eden Hazard’s return to the starting XI until the Champions League next week.

Hazard made his first appearances of the season with Belgium during the international break having fully recovered from a fractured right ankle.

The 26-year-old played a total of 93 minutes against Gibraltar and Greece without feeling any discomfort and is now back in training at Chelsea ahead of their match at Leicester on Saturday.

But Conte is wary about rushing Hazard back too soon before he is fully match fit and is thinking about naming the attacking midfielder on the bench with a view of bringing him on in the second half.

Chelsea play their first Champions League group game against Azerbaijan club Qarabag at home on Tuesday night and the Chelsea boss is debating whether that would be a more suitable game to include him from the start.

The Blues have a tough fixture schedule this month with a total of seven games in just 21 days, but the Italian wants Hazard to be particularly ready for the visit of Arsenal and Manchester City on September 17 and September 30 respectively.

Hazard sustained his injury while away with Belgium in June and missed the club’s pre-season fixtures while working on his recovery.

In pictures | Chelsea transfer signings 2017-18

This is his sixth campaign at the club having joined from Lille for £32million in 2012 and he is now the second longest serving player at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking of his targets for the season, he said: “Now I am in good condition. I can improve everything, even the best players in the world have to improve because football is improving every time. 

“I can score more goals, make more assists, I can dribble more and understand football more. I can improve in every aspect.

“In the Premier League almost six-seven clubs can win the League. Every week you have to be ready for the fight because every week you can lose. 

“If you are ready, you win the game if you’re not ready, you lose the game. We will see at the end who is the best team.”

Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/antonio-conte-eden-hazard-chelsea-starting-xi-return-arsenal-man-city-title-clashes-a3628201.html