Champions League

Rakitic: We have to be ready to stop Hazard

 Ivan Rakitic (Gallo)
Ivan Rakitic (Gallo)

Cape Town - Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has warned his team-mates that they need to stop Chelsea star Eden Hazard, and respect the rest of the team as well.

The two sides are set to clash in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, and Rakitic has identified Hazard as the biggest threat.

Hazard has scored 15 goals and provided nine assists in his 36 games across all competitions this campaign. The Belgian has bagged five goals in his last four Premier League outings.

When asked if Hazard is world class, Rakitic told the press, according to the Evening Standard: "For me, he is.

"He's maybe the most important player for Chelsea. But we know that Chelsea are not only Hazard.

"For sure, we have to be ready tomorrow to stop him. We know he's really fast and goes one-against-one.

"In his last games, he's in really good form. We have to be ready for him.

"But also for the whole team. It will be a very special game tomorrow, and we have to enjoy it."

Kick-off is at 21:45 (SA time).

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