ZOLA: EXPECT A STRONG SQUAD AGAINST SLAVIA PRAGUE

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Chelsea defeated Slavia Prague 1-0 away from home last week in the first leg of this quarterfinal clash, and the Blues will host the Czech side at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.

Blues boss Maurizio Sarri made seven changes to his side for the first leg in Prague, as he chose to rest players for the game against Liverpool at Anfield, but Gianfranco Zola has revealed that the manager is taking this game seriously and will play a strong squad this time around.

This means that the likes of Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante who are mostly given rests in the Europa League will feature tonight as Slavia showed in the first leg that they aren’t pushovers.

Zola was asked whether the changes that was made for the first leg is likely for the second leg or whether it might be a stronger team chosen, but he assured that there won’t be many changes for this game.

“I wouldn’t say we put out a weak side when we played over there,” Zola countered. “We made changes because we know we have a good squad and players who can come in and do well, as we did over there.

“There will probably be some changes but there will not be many, because it is a tough match. We knew that before and the match over there confirmed that. We are very aware we are playing a good team and need to play at our best.”

Ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash between Chelsea and Slavia Prague at Stamford Bridge, Slavia boss Jindrich Trpisovsky has hailed Eden Hazard as the best player in the world currently and believes he’s on the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I think that Hazard’s on the same level as (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo; he’s in the same category if you ask me,” said Trpisovsky.

“I think currently he’s the best player in the world. Not many people can play at his level. I really like watching him.

“And I’d love for him to play tomorrow. Because if he plays tomorrow that means Chelsea take us seriously. And if we win tomorrow we would beat the best Chelsea, and we would be respected. So we hope the best players will be here tomorrow.

“Willian played in Prague and we would like to see him again. Against teams like Chelsea you cannot just focus on one player, you have to focus on all of them.”

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VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.