He’s been the stand out player for Chelsea this season; the club’s Player of the Year, top-scorer and he also leads the club’s assist chart. He’s about to board the plane to Rio too, hoping to carry his sparkling form into the World Cup with Belgium.
There are few players in the world that are in the kind of form Eden Hazard is. He’s been widely praised by everyone- bar his club boss this season-and the 23-year-old will no doubt line up in a glittering national starting 11 made up of an array of attacking sparks including another Chelsea boy, Romelu Lukaku.
After Marc Wilmots provisional squad announcement, it’s really no surprise that freebets world cup tips indicate that Belgium will go far in Brazil. The nation has eleven Premier League stars, as well as Thibaut Courtois, who has had a stand-out season on loan from the Blues at Atletico Madrid.
But it’s arguably Hazard who will have the biggest say on how far his country will go this summer, particularly as the latter stages of the competition unfold.
Belgium have a relatively comfortable group to kick-off with. Only Korea and Fabio Capello’s Russia are the teams who have the potential to throw a spanner in the works.
Looking further ahead, things may get little trickier, with Hazard and co. likely to take on a top nation from the ‘Group of Death’.
The likely outcome is either Portugal or Germany, but both of those nations have defensive vulnerabilities that Marc Wilmots will look to exploit.
Hazard has netted 14 times in 35 appearances this season- including an impressive hat-trick against Newcastle– and proved he is one of the best young players in the world with man of the match performances against league rivals Manchester City and Liverpool; scoring a 25-yard scorcher in the process.
Putting in performances when it really matters is a big weapon to have. Going up against the best in the latter rounds can often see some star players hideaway. Messi has yet to shine at a World Cup, likewise the same can be said for Rooney, but if Hazard has proved anything from those Premier League fixtures, it’s that he’s ready for a challenge.
It isn’t just Hazard that enjoys the big games either. Belgium captain Vincent Kompany and Daniel Van Buyten are no strangers to crunch matches, whilst a strong midfield bolstered by Defour will give Hazard the licence to deploy his irresistible flair. With Hazard’s Chelsea future far from certain, a dazzling World Cup showing would do little to supress the advances of PSG and other suitors.
Whether Hazard can truly inspire the Belgians to glory will become apparent when football’s biggest tournament gets under way in June.
This is a guest post by Sean O’Connor, a Digital Specialist at Pixel Pandas.