Eden Hazard has admitted that getting his kicks in the Premier League is starting to wear him down.
Hazard has been fouled once every 24 minutes in the Premier League this season and the Chelsea attacker has accepted he now has to tailor his training regime to recover.
He was left out of Chelsea’s squad for the Europa League tie against PAOK Salonika in September to recuperate from a punishing fixture schedule and recently missed three games with a back injury.
Maurizio Sarri, the Chelsea manager, believes Hazard could struggle to complete 90 minutes against Everton on Sunday.
And the Belgium international has revealed that being booted by the Premier League’s hatchet men this season is taking its toll.
“I am feeling the wear and tear, I have been playing football as a professional for more than ten years now,” he said.
“I’m 27 now and starting to get older, so I have to take more care of my body. I have been doing yoga since I came to Chelsea.
“I am not happy about it [being targeted by opponents] but it’s part of football. The referee tries to do his job and I try to do mine.
“I guess when I am on the floor I can win free kicks so every free kick with Chelsea is a chance to score more goals.”
Hazard played 62 minutes of Chelsea’s 1-0 win over BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday – his first start since October 20 – and has insisted he is now fully fit.
Chelsea could extend their unbeaten run to 18 games under Sarri and Hazard, who continues to attract interest from Real Madrid, said he has been impressed with the club’s progress so far this season.
He said: “ We are in good shape in the Europa League and the Premier League and we want to keep winning.
“Sunday against Everton is an important game. We want to keep playing like this, scoring goals and winning like this.”
Sarri is expected to recall striker Alvaro Morata for the game at Stamford Bridge while N’Golo Kante – who travelled to Belarus but did not play – should also start.