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Hazard homes in on Fenerbahçe

Eden Hazard told UEFA.com that LOSC Lille Métropole "need to try to score a goal" at Fenerbahçe SK on Thursday as they look to defend a 2-1 lead and advance to the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League.

Eden Hazard fires in a free-kick during the first leg against Fenerbahçe
Eden Hazard fires in a free-kick during the first leg against Fenerbahçe ©Getty Images

Midfielder Eden Hazard believes LOSC Lille Métropole "know what to expect" as they look to defend a 2-1 lead at Fenerbahçe SK with a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League at stake.

Pierre Alain-Frau's 52nd-minute goal in France ensured that Lille hold a one-goal lead as they head into the deciding leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie, and that was something the 19-year-old felt his side could build on. "We know it's not finished, but if we play as well as we did in the first leg again then we have a great chance," he told UEFA.com. "We know what to expect over there, in terms of the way they will play and in terms of the atmosphere in particular.

"It's going to be very noisy," added the teenager, a Lille player since 2005. "They have a very passionate following, something we saw with the away fans in Lille. But we are capable of scoring goals against any team. If we play the game at a fast pace and use the speed of our forwards, there's a good chance we'll score again. It's going to be good. It's a good game to be playing and we'll give everything we've got."

Lille led after just three minutes of the home leg through Florent Balmont, but conceded a Gökçek Vederson goal two minutes later – something that Hazard hopes will not prove costly. "We could have avoided that if we had been more attentive," said Hazard, capped ten times by Belgium. However, he added: "The most important thing was to win. We could have scored a third or even a fourth, and unfortunately we conceded one. Now need to try to score a goal over there."

The overall victors after Thursday's decider will play the winners of FC Unirea Urziceni's tie with Liverpool FC, with the Reds 1-0 up from their Anfield encounter. The prospect of a tie with the Premier League side was not proving too much of a distraction. "We're not really thinking about playing Liverpool," said Hazard. "The thought maybe enters your mind, but the key is Fenerbahçe and the second leg."