Chelsea ace Eden Hazard may look slight compared to other Premier League players, but the diminutive forward made sure his strength was up to scratch by hitting the weights with Alvaro Morata.
The Belgium international and his Spanish team-mate took to the gym cables at Chelsea’s Cobham training centre on Thursday as they continued preparations ahead of Sunday’s trip to Manchester City.
Chelsea’s Instagram account posted a picture of Hazard and Morata looking focused as they completed their workout with both achieving a look of steely determination for the photographer.
And determination is exactly what will be needed if Chelsea are to come away from the Etihad Stadium with anything other than bruised egos. Indeed, Pep Guardiola’s men have claimed 40 out of 42 points at home this season and scored 50 goals.
But it will be more than reputations at stake for the reigning champions. Their defeat to Manchester United last weekend saw them drop out of the top four and another reverse could see the gap to Tottenham extend to five points.
Qualifying for the Champions League will be the minimum expected from Antonio Conte this season and failure to do so would almost certainly see the Italian leave Stamford Bridge after just two seasons in charge.
He may depart regardless with tensions between himself and the board at breaking point over a lack of transfer activity, something he puts Chelsea’s inconsistent form down to.
Chelsea have an advantage for Sunday because Manchester City are currently in London to face Arsenal. That means Chelsea have much longer to prepare for the fixture, and appears to have given them time for some invaluable strength training.