Hazard on bench for Europa League semi-final against Eintracht

by Jamie Smith

Eden Hazard and Gonzalo Higuain are both on the bench for Chelsea in their Europa League semi-final first leg against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Hazard has only started twice in the competition this season and is among the substitutes again at Commerzbank-Arena on Thursday.

Willian and Pedro have instead been selected as the wide forwards either side of Olivier Giroud, whose 10 goals is the most in this term’s Europa League.

Antonio Rudiger’s knee injury sustained in Sunday’s Premier League draw at Manchester United means Andreas Christensen comes into the Chelsea defence, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek starts in midfield.

Eintracht, who have won eight of their 10 Europa League games at Commerzbank-Arena, start with in-demand forward Luka Jovic in attack.

The Serbia striker, who has been linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona after shining in a breakthrough campaign, has scored eight Europa League goals this season.

Sebastien Haller is injured and Ante Rebic misses the first leg as he is suspended.