Edin Harzard insists that Chelsea can challenge Manchester City and Liverpool in the title race this season.
The Blues maintained their perfect start with a 2-0 win against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to make it four wins from four under new manager Maurizio Sarri.
Despite their 100 per cent record, Chelsea have barely been mentioned as contenders. Instead, much of the focus has been on a two-horse race between City and Liverpool, but Hazard is confident the west London club can challenge them this season.
“We are a little bit in the shadow,” said the Belgium international. “That is good. We just try to do our job, win games and then we will see. Of course, I believe we can challenge, especially in the Premier League, as you never know what is going to happen.
”We want to be champions, even if we know it is going to be hard because City, Liverpool and Tottenham are very strong. We will see at the end but we want to be on the top.”
Sarri has played down any title talk but Chelsea have been crowned champions in four of the five previous seasons in which they have won their first four games. And with Hazard thriving under the new regime, there is reason for real optimism at Stamford Bridge.
After captaining Belgium to the World Cup semi-finals and then being told to forget a move to Real Madrid in the summer, Hazard has made an impressive start to the season.
The 27-year-old looks to be enjoying life under former Napoli coach Sarri and said: “After a great World Cup, I am keeping going the same way. I am confident and just enjoying playing, so I am at a good level. We have a lot of good players and a new manager… everything is going well. The big change this season is that we try to keep the ball more often. That is why we have the ball more, create more chances and are scoring goals. It is only four games with the new manager, so we will see at the end of the season.”
Following the international break, Chelsea play newly-promoted Cardiff and rock-bottom West Ham — but Hazard is already looking ahead to their game against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge at the end of September.
A win against Jurgen Klopp’s side would lay down a marker as Chelsea look to build a title challenge and Hazard said: “In a couple of weeks we are playing Liverpool here in a massive game. Last year, we won here 1-0, so we need to repeat that.