Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Diego Costa will be starting Chelsea’s fixture against Newcastle United this weekend, with the Spain international having completed his one-match ban mid-week.
Costa to start
Costa sat out of the 3-0 home drubbing over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur due to picking up his fifth yellow card of the campaign during the 0-0 draw with Sunderland last weekend. Veteran forward Didier Drogba started the game against Spurs in his stead, with Loic Remy replacing him in the second half.
Both made strong cases for being given the nod for the Blues’ trip to Newcastle tomorrow afternoon, with Drogba scoring the second of Chelsea’s goals and Remy adding the icing on the cake.
However The Special One confirmed that neither will be given preference over the club’s top goalscorer this season, revealing in his pre-match press conference that Costa will start.
In typically bullish Mourinho fashion the 51-year-old simply replied “Diego” when he was asked who would be leading his line, with Costa entering the game having already notched 11 Premier League goals in just 10 domestic appearances. There’s no doubt he’ll be looking to build on that tally come 12:45pm tomorrow, but will have to do so without the cushion of Nemanja Matic behind him.
The Serbian star has been a colossus in the centre of midfielder for Mourinho this term but he’ll be absent through the game as he rides out his own suspension for accumulating five bookings.
It will be interesting to see how the Blues cope without the midfielder, as they’ve been dependent on his screening of the back four so far. Mourinho himself declined to talk much on the matter however.
"Last week we missed Diego so we didn't speak about Diego. Today we don't speak about Matic."
"Last week we missed Diego so we didn't speak about Diego. Today we don't speak about Matic"
Chelsea for the win?
Even without Matic Chelsea have to be considered favourites for the match. Alan Pardew’s string of positive results recently might have saved him from being one of the first bosses to get the chop this season, but in tomorrow’s opponents his side are facing a well-oiled machine well on their way to running away with the title.
The Magpies themselves have already lost four matches so far this term, and home fans won’t be confident heading into arguably the hardest game of the campaign so far.