Lille v CSKA Moscow preview
Hazard looking forward to his Champions League debut
Last Updated: September 14, 2011 10:55am
Hazard: Ready for Champions League
Lille midfielder Eden Hazard is looking forward to making his Champions League debut in Wednesday night's home opener against CSKA Moscow.
The sought-after Belgium international will get the chance to test himself against Europe's elite after he played a major role in Lille's breakthrough Ligue 1 success last term.
Hazard enjoyed a stellar campaign that drew the interest of bigger clubs around Europe, with Lille reportedly turning down a number of bids for the 20-year-old in the summer.
After beginning the new season strongly as well - Hazard scored twice in the 3-1 weekend win at St Etienne - his performances in the Champions League are likely to come under close scrutiny.
But, despite the big clubs apparently circling, Hazard is content to focus on helping Lille in their return to the Champions League for the first time in five years.
"I am happy to be playing in the Champions League because usually I just watch it on TV," he told France Football.
"I am feeling very good so far this season. Hopefully this can continue in the Champions League."
Lille reached the knockout stages last time they were in the Champions League and are likely to challenge CSKA for a qualification place in Group B, which Inter Milan are expected to win.
With Turkish side Trabzonspor making up the group, Wednesday's match could prove vital and assistant coach Frederic Bompard believes his side can start with a win.
"I have watched CSKA's past three matches and I noted that they prefer to play a 4-4-2 formation," he said.
"They play with two defensive midfielders who are both very good on the ball and look after possession. Elsewhere they can be a little slow though.
"They are a good team, a team that is of course able to be beaten, but a good team."
CSKA flew into Northern France without some of their key men, most notably their captain and Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev as well as Keisuke Honda.
Both have been ruled out with long-term injuries and in Akinfeev's place CSKA will rely on young goalkeeper Sergey Chepchugov, who was in goal for a 4-0 home defeat by Dinamo Moscow at the weekend.
Lille have defensive worries of their own with Marko Basa (groin), Aurelien Chedjou (leg) and Franck Beria (ankle) all doubtful.
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UEFA Champions League
Wed 14th Sep - Group A
Man City1 - 1Napoli
Villarreal0 - 2Bay Munich
Wed 14th Sep - Group B
Lille2 - 2CSKA Mosc
Inter0 - 1Trabzonspor
Wed 14th Sep - Group C
Basel2 - 1Otelul Galati
Benfica1 - 1Man Utd
Wed 14th Sep - Group D
Din Zagreb0 - 1R Madrid
Ajax0 - 0Lyon
UEFA Champions League Group A
|1||Paris St Germain||6||15|
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H