Diego Costa is facing a suspension for a stamp on Liverpool’s Emre Can during Wednesday’s extra time win in the Capital One Cup semi-final and Cesc Fabregas left the field early in the second half with a hamstring injury.
- The Capital One Cup semi-final was Chelsea’s fourth game in 10 days
Since his £32million summer arrival from Atletico Madrid Costa has been adored by the Chelsea faithful, his 17 league goals have quickly made him a hero.
- Diego Costa has scored the first goal in a game six times, the same as Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero
Another of the summer signings, Fabregas, has made an instant impact on his return to England. The Spaniard was Arsenal’s captain fantastic before leaving for boyhood club Barcelona, now back in London he has settled immediately and contributed 15 assists.
Mourinho may have shelled out nearly £70million on Costa and Fabregas but the pair have instantly repaid their manager with goals and assists, the two areas Chelsea’s title challenge fell down on last season.
- Diego Costa is the league’s top scorer, 17, followed by Sergio Aguero, 14
In Fabregas, Mourinho has brought in a player that values an assist as a striker does a goal and if the 27-year-old is to miss Saturday’s showdown with City there will be a considerable hole next to Nemanja Matic. Fabregas and Matic have been in great form this season, as the Serbian holds the play Fabregas passes and probes opposition defences creating chances.
- Cesc Fabregas has 15 assists this season. The record for most assists in one season is 20. Fabregas 2007/08 and Thierry Henry 2002/03
Further forward Costa is bulldozing all those defences before him, his aggression may have got him in to trouble on Wednesday but it is an attribute that he has used to bully opposition defences during his first season in England.
Without these two in the side Mourinho is likely to play John Obi Mikel in midfield and Loic Remy or Didier Drogba up front. The Chelsea side looks an entirely different animal without Fabregas’ craft and Costa’s battling, if those two do miss the game Manchester City will be given a huge boost on Saturday.
Blue Square have betting news and tips for Saturday’s match and all Premier League fixtures.