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Eden Hazard Leaves Out Tottenham And Picks Manchester United As A Bigger Threat To Their Title Chances

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

hazard

Chelsea’s talisman Eden Hazard has declared Arsenal and Manchester United as his side’s main rivals in the Premier League title chase this season and expects Tottenham Hotspur to wane away due to lack of experience.

‘I think Arsenal and Manchester United (are the biggest title rivals),’ the former Lille attacker told Sky Sports.

‘United had a bad first part of the season and I think for a couple of games now, they played well. They have good players and the squad is very good. The manager is good, so they will be second or third.

‘Tottenham also are strong. We lost there, but for me it is more Manchester United. They are more experienced. That is my opinion, maybe I’m wrong.’

The Blues, who have tasted victory in 15 of their last 17 league encounters, sit pretty at the peak of the table, with a nine-point gap over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur. While Arsenal are breathing heavily right behind their London rivals only with goal difference and the Red Devils remain handcuffed to the sixth spot, with a massive gap of 14 points behind Chelsea.

In midweek, Antonio Conte’s side was held to a 1-1 draw at Anfield yet Mauricio Pochettino’s men failed to take advantage as neither Sunderland nor Spurs came out as a winner at the Stadium of Light in a 0-0 stalemate.

It’s somewhat a surprise Hazard has left out Liverpool as a possible threat to their title quest. Jurgen Klopp’s side are yet to secure three points in a jarring January and were knocked out of two cup competitions. After scoring an avalanche of goals in the first half of the season, the Merseysiders appear to have run out of ammo during the absence of Sadio Mane, who represented Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Hazard, previously worked under current United boss Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and claimed that Conte possesses a stronger focus on tactics than the former Real Madrid coach.

‘In tactics and training we do more with Conte. We know exactly what to do. With Mourinho, he put in a system but we didn’t work lots,’ the 26-year-old added.

Despite being his debut season in England, the charismatic Italian has reaped up a positive reputation. After a spirit-sapping start, questions arise if Conte was the ideal fix to bring back Chelsea into winning ways.

However, the former Juventus head coach silenced any doubters by turning fortunes around with his 3-4-3 masterplan. Relatively an unfamiliar formation in England’s top flight but it brought the best out of a number of key players, especially Hazard and got his well-oiled team to play fabulous attack-minded football without sacrificing the stability in defence.

Spurs, on the other hand, had a few shaky moments earlier this term but do look like a genuine title contender. In recent weeks, the north London club are hampered with series of injuries that have made their defensive options pretty thin as Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose are expected to be sidelined for quite some time. Similar to Chelsea, they do have a solid squad depth, but a gulf in experience and leadership at the back could halt their title dreams yet again.

Hazard and Co. will be taking on Arsenal at Stamford Bridge this Saturday, meanwhile, Spurs will be welcoming Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough to the White Hart Lane. Manchester United will look to bounce back from their disappointing draw against Hull City in midweek as they travel to the King Power Stadium to take on champions Leicester City and Liverpool search their first league victory of the year against Hull City.

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