Eden Hazard wants Manchester City superstar Kevin De Bruyne to win the Premier League – but only if Chelsea cannot defend the title.
Antonio Conte took the top-flight by storm last term by winning the title in his debut season in England.
But midway through the current campaign, the Blues are only third. Despite winning 12 of their league games, Chelsea have slipped 14 points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s side, who have dropped just two points and scored a staggering 56 goals.
Hazard admits it will be ‘very difficult’ for Chelsea to catch City but the Belgium international has at least identified one positive of City winning the league – it will mean his international team-mate De Bruyne going to the World Cup full of confidence.
Asked about De Bruyne, who has been one of the star performers of the 2017-18 season, Hazard told Sky Sports: ‘He’s a friend, of course when we play against Manchester City I want to beat them but when the 90 minutes are finished he’s my friend.
‘We are playing together for Belgium and we have the World Cup to play so I want to win the league but it’s going to be difficult.
‘So if you [De Bruyne] win the league this year and bring the confidence to the World Cup, it will be good for the Belgians… so Kevin, you know what to do my friend!’ Scoring seven goals and providing 11 assists, De Bruyne has been City’s stand-out player this season but Hazard says the entire team is ‘amazing’.
‘This Manchester City [team], from the beginning of the season, they are amazing,’ he added.
‘Of course last year they had good players but now they have good players, they work for each other… they never lose a game, even when they can lose they win in the last minute.
‘This year is going to be difficult to win against them. But we accept this, we take the challenge and we will see what happens at the end of the season.’