By Tim Harrison
How should Chelsea approach the Saturday lunchtime clash with Manchester United?
Obviously by ensuring Eden Hazard is fully recovered after Belgium’s grudge derby against neighbouring Netherlands on Tuesday night.
Hazard said this week that of all the managers he’d worked for, the one he’d like to link up with again was Jose Mourinho.
The timing of the remark is unfortunate. Mourinho inherited Alex Ferguson’s mantle as Master of Mind Games on the old Scot’s retirement, and he’s wily enough to know that a well-timed word in the tunnel could distract the Blues’ wizard.
Hazard is such an asset to Chelsea – more than anyone else in the squad by a country mile – that Morrie Sarri’s handling of the mercurial maestro holds the key to the Blues’ season.
Meanwhile, waiting round the corner and eagerly anticipating a return to Stamford Bridge, is none other than Frank Lampard.
His Derby County visit in the Carabao Cup on Halloween in a game sandwiched between Chelsea’s league clashes against Burnley and Palace.
After he caused an upset by beating Man U on penalties in the previous round, Lampard will be keen to do something similar against a weakened Chelsea second string in front of home crowd lustily singing his name.
Yes, it’s Friends Reunited month at Stamford Bridge, with plenty at stake for two returning figures more familiar with SW6 than almost anywhere else on the planet.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
Want to read more news stories like this? Subscribe to our weekly e-news bulletin.
By sending us a comment, you are agreeing to our publishing policy.