HAZARD: SIMILAR DEMANDS
The Blues will be looking to preserve our unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League campaign when we face Everton later today (Saturday), and with the home side still looking for their first win of the season, Eden Hazard anticipates a tricky test.
Having taken seven points from a possible nine, Jose Mourinho's side can be pleased with the start we've made, particularly after avoiding defeat away at Manchester United in our most recent league encounter.
Everton's home record, however, is impressive, with Chelsea the only side to emerge from Goodison Park with three points last season following a 2-1 win in December, and with new manager Roberto Martinez yet to taste victory, Hazard knows it will take a big performance to secure a positive result.
'The fact they are still looking for their first win definitely makes things harder,' he tells the official Chelsea website. 'Everton away is a hard, difficult game and they have tough defenders in their team.
'They don't have Marouane Fellaini anymore which might change things but we will see. We have to work hard and if we do then hopefully we will get the right result.'
Hazard, after finishing last season in a rich vein of form, has begun the current campaign in similar fashion, with his importance to the side underlined by the fact he has started every game, including the UEFA Super Cup clash against Bayern Munich in which he produced an eye-catching display and scored a wonderful goal.
While the Belgian has been praised for his defensive work over the course of the past few matches, he insists his role, and the demands placed upon him, haven't changed too much from last season.
'I'm at my best when I play regularly, so I'm really pleased with the amount I've played so far this season,' he says.
'My role is pretty much the same, the most important thing is to play well and to contribute to the team. Assists and scoring goals is what both myself and Jose want.'
The trip to Goodison Park will allow Hazard to catch up with a couple of familiar faces, with compatriot Kevin Mirallas a key figure for Everton, while Romelu Lukaku recently completed a loan move to Merseyside.
'Mirallas is very quick and skilful which definitely contributes to him being a threat. He's very good, he can score goals and makes life difficult for defenders,' Hazard explains.
'I haven't spoken to Romelu about the game as he's ineligible to play against us, but afterwards we will have a chat and catch up on how he's settling in up there.'