By Harry Sykes
Eden Hazard will miss Chelsea’s Premier League showdown against Sunderland on Wednesday night, according to a reliable journalist.
The Belgium international was omitted from Antonio Conte’s squad for the match on Wearside and was not with the travelling part that arrived at the team hotel on Tuesday.
HLN journalist Kristof Terreur, who is a reliable source of information about the Belgium players, revealed on his personal Twitter account that Hazard is unavailable due to a “minor injury”.
— Kristof Terreur ? (@HLNinEngeland) December 14, 2016
Hazard suffered a knock in Sunday’s narrow 1-0 victory over West Brom, in which he was replaced late on by Branislav Ivanovic.
The playmaker has remained at Cobham for treatment and Conte will be forced to tweak his team as it chases a 10th consecutive Premier League.
Hazard’s absence is a hammer blow for Chelsea, as he has been in outstanding form this season operating on the left of an attacking trio, starting all 15 of the league matches to date and scoring eight goals.
Conte is seeking a six-point lead at the top following Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Everton on Tuesday night at Goodison Park.
But the manager will be anxious not to take any risks with his players ahead of five matches in 22 days and will hope that Hazard can recover in time to be fit for Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.