Chelsea are so superior to Arsenal that Antonio Conte needn’t risk Eden Hazard against Arsene Wenger’s side, according to Danny Murphy.
The Premier League champions have recovered from their opening day defeat against Burnley to record four consecutive victories in all competitions.
Hazard missed the opening month of the campaign after he underwent ankle surgery in the summer but has made substitute appearances in the recent wins over Leicester City and Qarabag.
The 26-year-old is now in contention to make his first start of the season in Sunday’s London derby but former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Murphy believes the gap between the two sides is so vast that Conte could rely on Willian and Pedro to ensure another Stamford Bridge win over the Gunners.
‘I do not think Chelsea need to rush Eden Hazard back,’ he said.
‘They have two unbelievable players in Willian and Pedro who are playing well and they are winning games without him.
‘That says a lot about Antonio Conte, making sure all the players know their job when they come in.
Eden Hazard scored one of the best goals of last season back in March’s 3-1 win over Arsenal.
‘When Hazard is at it, there is no doubt he makes Chelsea a better team.
‘But they do not need him to beat Arsenal. The way Arsenal are playing and how open they are, it is difficult to see them having a prayer at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
‘If Alexis Sanchez is on the pitch then they can beat anybody.
‘But Arsenal are tactically so naive that unless Arsene Wenger plays with a different mentality, and shuts up shop a little bit, then they cannot beat the likes of Chelsea away from home because they are too open.’