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Giroud: Hazard is my top pick for Premier League’s best player

Chelsea team-mates cannot vote for each other, though

Olivier Giroud (right) is a fan of Eden Hazard (left, Ian Walton/PA)
Olivier Giroud (right) is a fan of Eden Hazard (left, Ian Walton/PA)

Olivier Giroud has revealed his Premier League player of the year as Eden Hazard.

Chelsea will face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday where Giroud should square up to PFA Players’ Player of the Year award front-runner Virgil Van Dijk.

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Liverpool defender Van Dijk might be the favourites for the big awards this term, but France star Giroud believes Belgium playmaker Hazard deserves the top accolades.

Asked to pick his player of the season, Giroud replied: “I would say Eden Hazard, but I think I cannot say who I voted for.”

Players are not allowed to vote for team-mates in the PFA awards, leaving Giroud coy on his voting choice for the Players’ Player gong.

Holland’s Van Dijk has transformed Liverpool since his £75million switch from Southampton in January 2018 that proved a world-record fee for a defender.

Chelsea are intent on wrecking Liverpool’s Premier League title chances for the second time in five years this weekend, and boost their own top-four bid in the process.

The Blues’ 2-0 win at Anfield in April 2014 derailed Liverpool’s title bid that year, Steven Gerrard’s slip gifting a goal to Demba Ba.

Giroud believes Chelsea boast the potency to repeat that feat on Sunday, with the 32-year-old drawing on prior successes against Van Dijk.

The France hitman scored the only goal as Chelsea beat Van Dijk’s Liverpool 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in May last year.

Giroud also netted the winner when France saw off Holland 2-1 in Paris in September, leaving the Chelsea target man to head to Anfield full of confidence this weekend.

“I’ve played against him personally a few times and it has always been a tough position because he is very good and very strong, but I’ve scored a few goals playing against his teams,” said Giroud.

“I lost against him when we played the Netherlands recently, but I won last year and scored at Stamford Bridge, and scored the winner at the Stade de France against the Netherlands a few months ago.

“We don’t have to be scared and no matter who plays we will be 100 per cent focused on winning the game.”

PA

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