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Conte to leave out Hazard against Qarabag

The Belgium international suffered a long-term ankle injury and will not start for Chelsea.

The Blues boss Antonio Conte has insisted he will not take unnecessary risks by putting Eden Hazard in the starting XI against Qarabag in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The winger fractured his ankle during international duty with Belgium in June and has been recovering ever since. Hazard did feature in Chelsea’s games, but he is yet to start a Premier League game for the Blues in the current 2017-18 campaign.

“He needs a bit of time to continue to improve and we must not take a stupid risk with him. He will come on to the bench.” Conte said to the club’s official website.

“He is an amazing player, we are looking forward to having him in our squad. He is an important player for us, we were forced to play without him through injury. We tried to win every game.”

When it comes to Conte’s expectations towards the Champions League, the Italian remained humble, saying that all teams start at the same position.

“The chances [of winning the Champions League] this season? I don’t know.

“If you ask me the chances of last season to win the title in England it was zero. Instead we changed totally the opinion of people.

“When you play this type of competition you play to try to do your best and try to win every game, to go step by step. I think we’re building something important for the present, but above all for the future.

“You start the competition in the same way as the other teams.”