Hazard hails Bridge factor as key to Chelsea’s success


London (AFP) – Chelsea’s Eden Hazard believes some teams are already beaten even before they kick-off at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table heading into this weekend’s matches, with Chelsea at home to relegation-threatened Swansea City.

They can also look forward to a Stamford Bridge FA Cup quarter-final against a Manchester United side managed by former Blues boss Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea’s 3-1 win over London rivals Arsenal in their last home match was the team’s 11th straight victory in all competitions at Stamford Bridge and they have not lost in front of their own fans since a defeat by Liverpool on September 16.

And Belgian star Hazard believes such solid home form can propel Antonio Conte’s side to the English title.

“Yes, it’s significant. It’s difficult for the opponent to come here and win games,” Hazard told the London Evening Standard on Wednesday. 

“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.”

He added:. “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.

“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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