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Sporting v Chelsea: Live Team Sheet

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said he would 'risk' Diego Costa for tonight's game - and that's exactly what he has done.

The Brazil born forward starts for the Blues in their Champions League clash against Sporting Lisbon tonight. The Stamford Bridge club drew 1-1 in their first European match of the season against German side Schalke.

Mourinho returns to Portugal for the Group D fixture hoping to collect Chelsea's first three points of the Champions League campaign.

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Striker problems

The early leaders in the Premier League have been hugely impressive when Costa has spearheaded the attack, but like against Schalke, they have looked blunt without him.

Didier Drogba is not available for this one, leaving Loic Remy as the only alternative for Mourinho if things don't go to plan tonight.

Costa has a hamstring problem that has been carefully managed by Chelsea so far this season, but it's crucial that they get their European programme up and running after the early setback at Stamford Bridge.

"There is a risk, yes, but he plays," Mourinho said about Costa. "Hopefully everything goes well. It's an important game for us."

He scored his eighth goal of the campaign in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa at the weekend, while Brazilian duo Oscar and Willian also found the scoresheet in the game against Paul Lambert's club.

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Other options

Eden Hazard only played 68 minutes so he should be fresh and ready to go to face Sporting, while Nemaja Matic and Cesc Fabregas remain Mourinho's first choice partnership in central midfield.

As for Sporting, the Portuguese giants have been struggling this season in the top flight. Although they remain unbeaten, they have drawn four of their opening six games of the season and currently sit in seventh with traditional title rivals Benfica and Porto first and second respectively.

So here it is, the Chelsea starting lineup to face Sporting...

Courtois, Ivanovic, Luis, Terry, Cahill, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Schurrle, Oscar, Costa

And the Chelsea subs...

Cech, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Mikel, Salah, Willian, Remy

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Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League

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