Chelsea vs PAOK preview: Eden Hazard misses match as Blues aim for top spot

Eden Hazard will be missing for Chelsea when they welcome PAOK in the Europa League as they look to clinch top spot in Group L.

Hazard has an ankle injury following last Saturday’s loss to Tottenham, but should be fit to play Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

  • Hazard to miss PAOK clash with injury
  • Sarri’s selection gamble

Following their first defeat of the season at Wembley, Maurizio Sarri said: “I have a meeting of five or 10 minutes with the individuals, individual meetings with the players.

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“The targets are very clear in my mind: in the short period, to win something. And in the long period, to become the best team in Europe. I want to see we learned our lessons.”

Willian scored the winning goal for Chelsea when they travelled to PAOK earlier this season, and the Blues need just a point to take top spot in Group L on Thursday, although they have won each Europa League game so far with qualification already assured.

PAOK would be eliminated should they lost at Stamford Bridge and Vidi beat BATE Borisov, with the three points seeing the Hungarian side through to the last 32.

Team news

Victor Moses (back) also joins Hazard on the sidelines, with head coach Sarri likely to make changes ahead of 10 matches in the month of December.

Fernando Varela picked up a knock for PAOK over the weekend, but should be fit to feature at Stamford Bridge.

Opta stats

This is just the second European meeting between Chelsea and PAOK Salonika, after Chelsea won 1-0 away from home on MD1.

PAOK Salonika are only the third Greek side to visit Stamford Bridge in European competition, with Aris losing 5-1 in September 1970 and Olympiakos losing 3-0 in March 2008.

Chelsea could become just the second English club to win each of their first five Europa League group stage matches after Tottenham Hotspur in 2013-14.

Chelsea have never lost a UEFA Cup/Europa League game at Stamford Bridge (W8 D2), winning each of their last five.

Willian has either scored or assisted in each of his three Europa League starts for Chelsea this season (1 goal, 2 assists).

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