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Hazard highlights Kompany importance

ESPN staff
October 25, 2013 « Fan jailed for punching police horse | Chartbeat test »
Eden Hazard has talked up the quality of his Belgian compatriot © Getty Images
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Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard is wary of Vincent Kompany's return to the Manchester City team ahead of their meeting on Sunday.

Kompany has not played for City since the 3-1 win over Everton on October 5 as he has been struggling with a thigh problem.

But City boss Manuel Pellegrini has suggested the skipper will be at his disposal for this weekend's trip to Stamford Bridge.

And Hazard has talked up the quality of his Belgian compatriot ahead of what could prove a key game in the title race.

"Kompany is really important for City because when he plays they win and when he doesn't play they lose, often," Hazard said in The Guardian.

"We know his quality and we're lucky to have him in the Belgium team. I prefer to play with players like that than against them."

Hazard also reflected on Chelsea's early season form, with the club currently on a strong run having won their last four matches in a row in all competitions under manager Jose Mourinho.

"We are playing well at the moment and are in form," Hazard said. "We have won at Norwich, we won at home against Cardiff ... We have got a good dynamic. I hope we can continue like this because this weekend we have another big, important match.

"Jose brings his experience. He is a great coach. Us young players are impressed. We are starting to know him. He is a good guy, someone who has his own ideas and who puts them in place. At the moment we are winning so all is well. He has won a lot of things before and I hope he wins more, that we'll be able to win trophies."

Hazard went on to reflect on last year's disappointing display in the Champions League - which was followed by success in the Europa League - after this week they went top of Group E with a 3-0 win at Schalke.

"Last season was a failure," Hazard said. "It was a failure to get knocked out at the group stage. This is only the third year that I play in the Champions League and I have lost two years running at the group stage. I hope that for the first time, I will go through. We'll use last year's experience and not reproduce [the mistakes]."

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