Chelsea predicted XI to face Maribor

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has refused to confirm whether the hamstring problem keeping Diego Costa sidelined is a pull or tear, but regardless the Spanish international definitely won't be risked against Maribor tomorrow night.

Costa's absence will give Loic Remy another chance to prove he's capable of providing effective cover as Chelsea bid to maintain their unbeaten start in the Champions League against the Slovenian champions.

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Remy failed to add to his single goal for Chelsea in his first Premier League start against Crystal Palace last weekend, but did look lively and will be confident of delivering the goods against a Maribor side who have conceded in both of their games in this season's group stage.

Mourinho will surely be wary of making wholesale changes though, with last month's disappointing 1-1 draw against Schalke serving as a timely reminder that Chelsea must maintain full focus to ensure they take maximum points from a clash that may be trickier than most analysts anticipate.

Time to give Terry a rest?

The temptation must be there for Mourinho to at least give a few of his top performers the night off, ahead of potentially their biggest test of the season to date against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

Captain fantastic John Terry surely falls under that category after playing every minute of Chelsea's 10 Premier League and Champions League games so far this term.

A defensive reshuffle could allow Terry to rest his 33-year-old legs ahead of that trip to Old Trafford, with Branislav Ivanovic moved to centre-back, Cesar Azpilicueta shifted to right-back and Filipe Luis given a rare start on the opposite flank.

Midfield reshuffle looks unlikely

Further forward Mourinho has been forced to rule out Jon Obi Mikel, Andre Schurrle and Ramires from his plans for Maribor, while Didier Drogba has taken part in just one training session in the last week despite featuring late on as a substitute against Palace.

Those absentees mean the scope for change isn't quite as big as you'd expect for the Blues, which means it might well be time for Mohamed Salah to finally get a a chance to impress on the flank.

Dominic Solanke and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will likely be on the bench, but other than the inclusion of Luis and Salah expect it to be business as usual for Fabregas and co. in their bid to break down stubborn opposition and make it seven points from a possible nine in Group G.

Chelsea predicted XI: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luis, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Oscar, Salah, Remy

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