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Hazard: Kompany Makes City Tick

Arsenal are flying high at the top of the Premier League at the moment, and appear to finally have a balanced squad capable of sustaining a title challenge for the duration of a season.

But the Gunners have flattered to deceive before, and champions Manchester United are in a transitional phase. And so the sneaking suspicion remains that the Premier League could end as two-horse race between the big guns of Chelsea and Manchester City this season.

One point separates second-place Chelsea and fourth-place City ahead of their titanic showdown at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

It’s far too early to say that the result will definitively influence the outcome of the title race between the two teams, but it will surely play a role in the path to glory.

Both teams head into the game in winning form, with their ex-Atletico Madrid strikers having bagged braces in the Champions League, and so Chelsea star Eden Hazard is somewhat wary of the Blues’ weekend opponents.

He says that the return of his fellow Belgian international, Vincent Kompany, to City’s starting line-up makes the champions of 2011-12 a far tougher prospect.

"Kompany is really important for City because when he plays they win and when he doesn't play they lose, often," said Hazard.

"We know his quality and we're lucky to have him in the Belgium team. I prefer to play with players like that than against them."

Despite Kompany’s return, Hazard says the Blues are in good form at the moment, and are confident of vanquishing all comers.

"We are playing well at the moment and are in form," he said.

"We have won at Norwich, we won at home against Cardiff. We have got a good dynamic. I hope we can continue like this because this weekend we have another big, important match.

"Our role is to try to stay in the title race at the top of the table, win and carry on our way to the Arsenal game [next Tuesday in the Capital One Cup]."

After a stuttering start to the campaign, the Chelsea juggernaut is rolling. And Hazard says they are beginning to get the winning habit under serial champion Jose Mourinho.

"Jose brings his experience. He is a great coach. Us young players are impressed," Hazard said.

"We are starting to know him. He is a good guy, someone who has his own ideas and who puts them in place.

"At the moment we are winning so all is well. He has won a lot of things before and I hope he wins more, that we'll be able to win trophies."


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