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Antonio Conte drops hints about Eden Hazard’s position against Barcelona

Antonio Conte has hinted he could restore Eden Hazard to a central striking role against Barcelona in midweek.

The Belgium international was critical of his manager following last weekend’s defeat against Manchester City and admitted he does not enjoy playing in a false nine position.

Restored to his conventional left-wing role against Crystal Palace on Saturday, Hazard gave an imperious performance as Chelsea recorded a 2-1 win with the margin of victory hardly reflecting their dominance.

Lionel Messi’s away goal in the first leg 10 days ago at Stamford Bridge means Barcelona hold the advantage ahead of Wednesday’s return and Conte admits he will have to make changes to contend with the Champions League favourites’ attacking prowess.

On Hazard, Conte said:

‘He played a good game and also had chances to score. We didn’t take a lot of chances that we created today.

‘The commitment was good and for this reason we must be very happy. For Barcelona we have to prepare in the right way.

This will be completely different to today.

‘We have to show great resilience. We are paying against one of the best teams in the world. We played a really great game in the first leg, almost the perfect game.

‘It won’t be easy, we have to know this and we have to try to find the right solution to play this game.

‘The best way is to speak to the players, together with the right plan to play this game.’

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