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Chelsea team news: Conte suffers major blow as key ace ruled out vs Stoke

Chelsea ace Eden Hazard has reportedly been ruled out of Saturday’s clash with Stoke City after suffering a thigh injury in training on Friday.

The 26-year-old has played a crucial role for the Blues so far this season as they continue to push on for the Premier League title, as he has scored 11 goals and provided five assists in 31 appearances in all competitions.

In turn, his absence will be a huge setback for Chelsea who will hope to avoid slipping up at the Britannia Stadium to protect their 10-point lead at the top of the table.

The Belgian international was expected to start, but as per the Evening Standard, he has now been ruled out with the troublesome thigh injury.

It’s added that he’s stayed behind to receive treatment at Cobham, and after it became clear that he wouldn’t be able to recover in time, he was ruled out of travelling with the rest of the squad.

Further, question marks will now also be raised about his availability for Belgium in the upcoming international break, as he will risk missing games against Greece and Russia for his country as the full extent of the problem will likely become clearer with further tests and scans.

It comes after Conte hit out at Manchester United’s strategy against him in the FA Cup tie on Monday night as Hazard came under real pressure and some hefty challenges throughout the game.

However, it’s added that the injury wasn’t a direct result of that and it was an unfortunate setback in training to end the week.

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