PAOK vs Chelsea: Sarri reveals Hazard, others may not play

Hazard has now scored five goals in five league matches this season, while also providing two assists, and he became only the fourth player to score more than one hat-trick for Chelsea in the Premier League, alongside Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. "If you saw the game today, you have to say yes!"

The French World Cup victor proved the ideal foil for Belgian star Eden Hazard and the pair combined to drag the home side back from a goal down in the first half. "I think so", the Belgium star told BBC Sport.

Chelsea's flawless winning start to the season is papering over the lack of firepower from their big money signing Alvaro Morata, and with Olivier Giroud hardly prolific, the big priority in the new year is likely to get another goalscorer through the door - a move for Mitrovic would be surprising but he indeed appears to be on the radar.

Asked if Hazard believes Sarri's claim he can reach 40 goals, Sarri said: "If you have seen Saturday's match, then I think so!"

Therefore, Hazard is now Chelsea's tenth highest scorer, behind George Hilsdon who has 108 goals.

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Chelsea's Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard celebrates scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on August 26, 2018.

'Only eight players arrived for training at the beginning of the pre-season, so I think it's normal that in this period we have some defensive problems, ' Sarri said.

Sarri was pleased with his side's efforts against the winless Bluebirds but said reiterated that they were still "a step away" from Liverpool and Manchester City. "But both are quality and we are happy to have good strikers at the club".

"I didn't play at the beginning of the season because I came back late from the World Cup".

  • Lawrence Cooper