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Eden Hazard Says Chelsea Players Don't Want Tottenham to Win EPL Title

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 9: Eden Hazard of Chelsea looks on during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Chelsea FC and Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge stadium on March 9, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard revealed on Sunday that he and his team-mates don't want to see fellow London club Tottenham win the Premier League title this season. 

"We don’t want Tottenham to win the Premier League—the fans, the club and the players," he said after the club's 4-1 drubbing of Bournemouth, per Chelsea's official website. "In football you never know, we hope for Leicester because they deserve to be champions, but we will see. We have a big game next week against Tottenham, and if we can beat them, it will be good."

Hazard, 25, has certainly provided Spurs some bulletin-board material for when the clubs meet a week from Monday. That game could have huge implications for the Premier League title race, or it could be meaningless in that regard, as Leicester City can clinch the title if Tottenham loses this Monday against West Brom and the Foxes beat Manchester United next Sunday.

Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas wasn't exactly surprised by Hazard's statements, though he didn't miss the opportunity to fire a few shots back across Chelsea's bow.

“What do you expect Hazard to say?," he said on Match of the Day, per Kyle Bonn of NBC Sports. “He’s not going to say he wants Spurs to win now is he? It’s what everyone knows; there is that obvious rivalry between Chelsea and Spurs. But if Spurs keep doing what they’re doing now I don’t give Chelsea much of a chance in that game anyway."

Hazard, a Belgian international and last season's PFA Player of the Year, has struggled in 2015-16, battling through injuries and stretches of poor play. He's notched just two goals and three assists in 27 appearances (22 starts) for the Blues in their EPL campaign, earning a pedestrian 6.96 average match rating from WhoScored.com.

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Contrast that to a season ago, when he accumulated 14 goals and nine assists in 38 Premier League starts, compiling a 7.96 average match rating from WhoScored.com, best in the Premier League.

Hazard's own struggles have paralleled those of Chelsea, as the Blues limped out to a poor start under Jose Mourinho before he was fired in December. The Blues have since stabilized under Guus Hiddink, though barring a miracle, they won't qualify for European football next season, when new manager Antonio Conte will take the reins.

"At this stage of the season we just want to finish strongly and try to make the fans a little proud," Hazard noted. "Obviously it’s been a disappointing season, but let’s try to play our best and finish well."

So for the Blues, preventing a rival from winning a title is indeed something left to play for this season, along with a general sense of pride.

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