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Eden Hazard vs. Real Madrid: Conte pleased with debut, second striker role for Chelsea star

As promised, Eden Hazard made his preseason debut on Saturday against Real Madrid, coming on as second-half substitute and initially taking his place in the customary left-wing position.

But in the final quarter of an hour, once Preseason All-Star Victor Moses entered the scene, Eden Hazard pushed to the center and played as the second striker in Conte's 4-2-4.  The Chelsea front line at that point was: Moses (left) - Hazard (small) - Batshuayi (big) - Cuadrado (right).  And it was working a treat, albeit against what was mostly Real Madrid's B team.

Still, it was a conscious experiment from the boss, and he was pleased with the results.

"Eden Hazard played 30 minutes and he is recovering a good shape. I like him in this position, like a forward, and he can be a good solution for us. Also playing as a winger. To play as a second forward he must improve his shape but he is working and he knows his shape can a lot in the same way as the other players."

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC

Conte also praised Batshuayi and even Loftus-Cheek ("I know he can play in this role and play good football"), but it was Hazard who seemed to stake the biggest claim for a potential shake-up along the front line.

So, what do we think?  Is Eden Hazard the second striker we deserve and need, alongside either Costa or (Lukaku?) or Batshuayi in the first-choice starting eleven?

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