Dynamo Kiev v Chelsea: Preview
Jose Mourinho refused to say whether Eden Hazard will return to Chelsea's starting line-up for Tuesday night's Champions League Group G clash at Dynamo Kiev.
Mourinho was critical of Hazard, the stand-out performer in last season's Barclays Premier League triumph, after leaving the Belgium playmaker on the substitutes' bench for last Saturday's 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
And the Blues boss declined to reveal if Hazard, who has been told to up his work rate, will start at the NSK Olimpiysky as Chelsea seek to respond from defeat at Porto in their most recent Champions League game.
``If he plays tomorrow I don't tell you. The players don't know,'' Mourinho said.
Mourinho has left forwards Pedro and Loic Remy behind due to minor injuries, increasing the likelihood Hazard will return to the starting XI.
The Portuguese was critical of Hazard during his first season back at Stamford Bridge and the desired response followed, with the forward compared favourably with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi when winning individual footballer of the year awards last season.
``I didn't say he had a better season than Ronaldo,'' Mourinho said.
``Last season he won one of the most important titles in football, which is the Premier League, and (he was) absolutely decisive for Chelsea. Last season he had a phenomenal season.''
Asked about Hazard's response to his comments, Mourinho said: ``How did he train? He trained like Eden.''
Chelsea appear to be turning a corner after a poor start to the season but have little margin for error following their loss to Porto.
Their domestic form has been concerning, but while Dynamo Kiev will go into this game on the back of a league loss, the same can hardly be said for Sergei Rebrov's side.
Their 3-0 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk on Friday was their first defeat in 38 Ukrainian Premier League outings, but Rebrov is hoping it will fire up his side.
``We analysed our mistakes and I hope you'll see another team tomorrow,'' he said.
``I'm glad we don't have much time to think about our misfortune.
``We have to switch to another very important match, and I cannot imagine what can motivate the players more than Chelsea in the Champions League.''