Chelsea assistant boss Gianfranco Zola has hinted Eden Hazard will be involved in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie at Anfield.
The Blues travel to Anfield on Wednesday before hosting the Premier League pacesetters on Saturday in a top of the table clash.
Chelsea’s 100% start to the new campaign ground to a halt following Sunday’s goalless draw against West Ham and can ill-afford another setback.
Maurizio Sarri had been expected to rotate his side in midweek but his assistant hinted star man Hazard could feature in a bid to accelerate his understanding of his new manager’s unique demands.
‘The more that he plays the better he is,’ said Zola.
‘I think Eden has done magnificently in the World Cup. He is getting better and better but hasn’t reached his full potential. This year we will help him to reach that full potential.
‘It’s a process he can do himself. The way we try to play it will benefit himself. We try to play a long time in the opposition half. The more that we can do that the better.
‘It is just a normal process. It’s about giving him the opportunities in the best way, close to the goal.’
Sarri was criticised after he failed to give any of Chelsea’s exciting young players an opportunity to impress in last week’s Europa League win against PAOK but teenagers Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi could be given a rare opportunity tomorrow. Zola said:
‘It is an important game. We are Chelsea and want to try to win all our games and we will take it seriously. It is not the Premier League, but who we are we want to play the games as best we can.
‘It’s an opportunity to see players that haven’t had many games so far.
‘Ruben (Loftus-Cheek) is still recovering, so he’s very unlikely. Also (Antonio) Rudiger. Pedro is recovering very well, but it is tough for them to be there.
‘As Chelsea we are very greedy and will try to win both of them. It will be huge. The type of game it will be a lot. We will try to be competitive.’