HAZARD: DANGEROUS FRIENDS

Posted on: Fri 19 Oct 2012

Eden Hazard will be reunited with two international colleagues at White Hart Lane on Saturday lunchtime.

The Chelsea man was a substitute for Belgium on Tuesday night as they beat Scotland 2-0 in Brussels, four days after a 3-0 away win at the expense of Branislav Ivanovic's Serbia.

Joining Hazard in the Belgian setup are two players added to the Tottenham squad over the summer by new manager Andre Villas-Boas, who has sought to reinvigorate the squad he inherited from Harry Redknapp following the departure of Luka Modric to Real Madrid and the retirement of Ledley King.

Jan Vertonghen is a tall and powerful defender bought from Ajax as a centre-back but who has impressed at left-back, while Mousa Dembele caught the eye at Fulham with his enterprising midfield displays before switching to White Hart Lane.

'Dembele is a big player, I think he is one of the best players in the league at this time and it is difficult to defend against him,' Hazard said. 'He has great pace and good technique, and is very effective in the centre of the pitch.

'I follow all the Belgian players in the premier league, and now he is at a bigger club with better players it will be good for him.

'Normally Vertonghen is a central defender and not a left-back but he can play both, he is very good technically and likes to bring the ball forward out of defence. He normally plays as a left-back for the national team.'

Naturally, there was discussion around tomorrow lunchtime's kick-off at White Hart Lane when the players were away on international duty.

'I talked a bit with those two players about the game, and as Dembele came off injured when I replaced him, I told him I hoped that he would still be injured at the weekend,' joked the 21-year-old Hazard. 'But really I hope he can play, that it will be a good game and that the best team can win.

'We always talk a little bit among us as international players, and I spoke to some of them about the Premier League before I came to Chelsea. I knew it was a big competition but now I am here I can see it with my own eyes and I am very happy in England.'

Hazard already has experience of capital clashes against QPR and Arsenal, and expects another lively atmosphere in north London at the weekend.

'On the field it doesn't feel like a derby, not so different, but you know it means a lot to the supporters and the atmosphere is very intense, so it is important that you win these matches as much as you can,' he said.