Eden Hazard left out of squad for Europa League trip to PAOK

Chelsea's Eden Hazard celebrates scoring his side's first goal during their English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge stadium in London Saturday Sept. 15 2018. (AP

Chelsea's Eden Hazard celebrates scoring his side's first goal during their English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge stadium in London Saturday Sept. 15 2018. (AP

The game between the Premier League champions and FA Cup winners is the traditional season curtain-raiser but on this evidence the gap between the two teams, which last season was 30 points, is as wide as ever despite the arrival of Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea manager and the signing of midfielder Jorginho. According to the Chelsea boss, Hazard is the best player in Europe but needs to be smarter in the way he goes about his business while building-up play.

Jamie Carragher believes Maurizio Sarri is implementing a new style at Chelsea FC.

Chelsea should be savoring Eden Hazard's talents while he is still with the team. Ampadu, Odoi and Loftus are the future.

Gary Cahill, the club captain, could make his first appearance of the season at the Toumba Stadium while there may also be game-time for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Andreas Christensen.

Although the England captain was the Golden Boot victor at the World Cup, three of the six goals came from penalties and another was a deflection.

Meanwhile, PAOK should line-up in not too dissimilar a manner to the team which won 3-1 against OFI Crete on Saturday.

Striker Aleksandar Prijovic has returned to training following a hamstring problem and could be included by the Greek side, who have no other injury concerns.

What are the managers saying?

"We know very well that Chelsea is one of the best teams in the world and in this moment they are going through a very good period", he said.

Maurizio Sarri is set to make use of the squad depth he has available to him in Europe and has identified the game as the flawless chance to rest Hazard. "Of course either Hazard or Pedro will rest on Thursday".

Chelsea are trading at [1.86] in the Match Odds market, and while they have made an excellent start to Sarri's first campaign, that seems a bit short to me.

"I have spoken to him in the last two days, yesterday I told him for me he can score 40 goals".

"I don't know now who will be the striker of the future". I might change four or five players, it is impossible to change every player in the match. "In characteristics they are different and it depends on the kind of match".

Foden's understanding with Aguero looked particularly promising and Chelsea struggled to thwart his invention or keep a handle on the Argentine who was named man of the match. The last time Chelsea failed to escape the group stage of either the UCL or UEL was back in 2013, when their defence of the Champions League trophy lasted just six games. "We will be prepared and we have huge motivation for this game".

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