Chelsea manager Antonio Conte may hand Eden Hazard a start against Stoke City on Saturday (23 September) and confirmed the Belgium international is now completely over the ankle injury which blighted his start to the new season.

Hazard, 26, made his first start of the campaign in the Blues' 5-1 win over Championship outfit Nottingham Forest on Wednesday after making three appearances from the substitutes' bench in the Premier League and Champions League.

With Chelsea facing the prospect of three games in seven days, Conte knows he will have to rotate his squad and believes he is now able to call on Hazard from the start, rather than manage him carefully from the bench.

"I'm pleased for Eden [Hazard] because in the last game he played very well but I think he played with good intensity, now his injury is overcome," Conte said in his press conference. "Now we have to play three games, and it's possible to pick him for these games.

Conte will also be able to call upon Tiemoue Bakayoko for the clash against Stoke, who have already taken four points off of Manchester United and Arsenal respectively. The former Monaco midfielder was involved in a car crash outside of Chelsea's training ground on Thursday but luckily did not suffer any injuries and is fit to play, according to Conte.

"Yeah, he's fit and it was a minor accident yesterday, he's fit and available Stoke." said Conte, who was impressed by the performances of Charly Musonda and Kenedy against Nottingham Forest.

The young wide duo's displays in the Carabao Cup gave Conte food for thought, and the former Juventus manager is prepared to afford the Brazilian and Belgian chances to establish themselves at Stamford Bridge, where there is a good camaraderie between the starlets and senior players.

"We are working with Charly [Musonda] and Kenedy from January. I was pleased to see these performances from them and for sure these are two players with good prospects, they stay with us, we trust them and they have to continue in this way," Conte added.

"In the last game I felt a really good atmosphere in the changing room, a good link between young and old, for sure I have to give opportunities to these players to show me they're learning and improving to help us in all competitions."

Eden Hazard
Hazard could start his first league match of the season against Stoke.