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Friday 28 April 2017

Hazard: Bridge is Chelsea fortress

Eden Hazard is pictured here on the way to scoring his wonder-goal in the Premier League win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard is pictured here on the way to scoring his wonder-goal in the Premier League win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

Eden Hazard reckons Premier League leaders Chelsea already have some teams beaten before they run out at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Conte's rejuvenated squad head into this weekend's fixtures looking to extend an eight-point gap at the top of the table when they host relegation-battlers Swansea.

Chelsea swept Arsenal aside 3-1 in their last home match, which was an 11th successive victory in all competitions in front of the Blues supporters since losing to Liverpool on September 16.

Belgian playmaker Hazard believes such dominant form at Stamford Bridge can prove the backbone of a successful assault on the Premier League title.

"Yes, it's significant. It's difficult for the opponent to come here and win games," Hazard said.

"Do I get that feeling that some teams are beaten before kick-off? Yes. We are playing better than last season.

"It's a little like two years ago when we won the league.

"I remember the second part of the season back then - sometimes the team didn't play well, but we always scored at least one goal and Thibaut Courtois would make at least one good save, like against Arsenal.

"We are in full confidence here on this pitch. You know the fans bring everything, they support us.

"I remember against Tottenham [the 2-1 win] earlier in the season when they scored, but the supporters kept going, they kept singing.

"It's great and we feel very good on this pitch. We know everything can happen in football, but we have self-belief and that is very important in football."

Hazard called for Conte's squad to remain focused on delivering the required results from their remaining 13 league games.

A potential league and FA Cup double could also be on the cards should Chelsea see off Manchester United in their quarter-final at Stamford Bridge next month.

"We just need to keep the same concentration. It's more difficult to play away because of the fans, but we are ready, we are professional. We can deal with the pressure. Everything is going good," Hazard said.

"We know if we want to be champions, in our home stadium we have to win most of our games.

"We can't say all 19 because we have already lost to Liverpool, but we have to win 16 to 17 because it is our place and we are ready to deliver."

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