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Hazard to start against Nottingham Forest as Conte prepares to rotate

19 September 2017 16:02

Eden Hazard is set for his maiden start of the season in Chelsea's EFL Cup clash with Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, Antonio Conte has confirmed.

The Belgium international made his first appearance since suffering a broken ankle in June in the Premier League win away to Leicester City on September 9.

He also came off the bench in Sunday's 0-0 draw with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge and Conte feels the time is right to give the 26-year-old a full 90 minutes.

"I think, for Eden, now is the right moment to start the game and try to play the whole game," he told a news conference.

"I think we have managed very well his situation. In my career I was injured a lot of times and I have a bit of experience about this situation. We are managing it very well and he is ready to start. 

"Our work is to try and improve every single player, at the tactical aspect and the physical aspect. I think the most important thing for the players is to be open to receive new information.

"I think Eden is a top player and he improved a lot. I think he can continue to improve and become one of the best."

Conte also suggested youngsters Charly Musonda and Kenedy could start the match as he looks to give a rest to some first-team regulars.

Kenedy caused controversy during the pre-season tour with social media posts that appeared to poke fun at China, but Conte says he has learned from his error.

"For sure, it could be a good opportunity for Charly and for Kenedy it is the same," said the Chelsea boss.

"I think he knows very well what happened in China. He made a mistake but I think everyone in life makes mistakes.

"Now he is focused and working very well. He understands his mistake and he is ready to play."

He added of Musonda: "I'm sure that we are talking about a young player with a really good prospect because you can see Charly's talent very clearly.

"I think now it is very important for him to adapt himself to this league because this league is not simple, it is a physical league.

"Now he is working a lot to improve his strength and be ready for a big impact."

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