Eden Hazard insists Premier League rivals are to blame for Chelsea’s slow start to the season

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Chelsea star Eden Hazard has admitted he and his teammates have struggled to cope with the pressure of being the reigning Barclays Premier League champions.

The Blues have made a sluggish start to the defence of their title and are already eight points adrift after a 3-0 defeat against rivals Manchester City and a shock home loss to London rivals Crystal Palace in the fixture just before the international break.

Manager Jose Mourinho has had to contend with numerous on and off the field problems since the new campaign began, with the form of some of his key players including the likes of captain John Terry, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas a huge concern.

Hazard, who is also yet to hit top form since returning to action, has revealed why the squad have found it tough to get going this season:

“It’s difficult to play as a champion because everyone wants to beat you, everyone wants to kill you,” the Belgian winger told fashion website HypeBeast.com [via Sky Sports].

“We wear the gold badge and… yeah, it’s very good. We had a fantastic season last season… if we could do the same this season we’d be good,” Hazard added.

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The west London outfit travel to Goodison Park for a Saturday lunchtime kick-off against Everton as they look to secure their second victory of the new season.

More Stories Cesc Fabregas Eden Hazard John Terry Nemanja Matic