Mourinho Offers Latest Chelsea Team News + Positive Update On Costa
Chelsea face a tricky trip to Shrewsbury in the Fourth Round of the Capital One Cup tonight. Here’s the latest team news including an update on Diego Costa
Chelsea face a tricky trip to Shrewsbury in the Fourth Round of the Capital One Cup this evening just 48 hours after drawing 1-1 with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Ahead of the game, Jose Mourinho has been speaking to the media and he gave reporters a team news and injury update including the latest on the fitness of star striker Diego Costa.
The Blues boss admitted they are “in trouble” as they travel to Shrewsbury quickly off the back of Sunday’s huge clash against United and several players remain on the sidelines through injury.
The key name currently missing is that of Diego Costa as the Spanish international continues to battle a niggling hamstring injury and his recovery hasn’t been helped after he picked up a virus that led to him spending time in hospital last week.
However, while tonight’s clash will come too soon, Mourinho has revealed that he hopes to have the 26-year-old available for Saturday’s game with Queens Park Rangers at Stamford Bridge.
When asked if Costa will return this weekend, Mourinho told the Guardian:
“I think so. QPR, one week more, I hope so,”
“The virus is fine. It was hard when Costa went to hospital and obviously it doesn’t help to recover from the injury. But he didn’t come [to Old Trafford] because of the injury, not because of the virus. He aggravated the hamstring because he played two matches in three days and was not with us.”
The return of Costa will obviously come as a huge boost to Chelsea as the Brazilian-born hitman has been in sensational form since his summer move from Atletico Madrid, despite his niggling injury problems.
However, they won’t be able to call upon his services tonight which leaves Jose with a headache in attack. Loic Remy will be out for another two weeks after suffering a groin injury during last weeks 6-0 thrashing of Maribor in the Champions League and 36-year-old Didier Drogba is unlikely to be able to play for the second time in three days having played the full ninety minutes on Sunday.
It means Mourinho has little option other than to start versatile German international Andre Schurrle up front against Shrewsbury unless he wants to hand a full debut to youngster Dominic Solanke.
It’s not just in attack where Chelsea have selection problems as with Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic both suspended, Mourinho has few options for rotation at the back, while midfielder Ramires is still not considered fit enough to play as he continues to nurse a groin injury that’s kept him out for over a month.
Mourinho has confirmed that the likes of Mohamed Salah, Kurt Zouma, Nathan Ake and John Obi Mikel will all start tonight but otherwise he’ll have to pick from the team that faced United at the weekend:
“I have only one day, we travel to London and we are travelling to Shrewsbury. We are in trouble because we have so many injured players,” he said.
“It is even more difficult for us to go. We have to go. We now have a difficult match. Because they are doing very well in their league and doing very well against superior teams in the Capital One Cup. It’s a big day for them. We know it will be difficult for us. But that’s football.”
“Every game is important. Shrewsbury is not a friendly. We have to play matches with respect and the best way to respect Shrewsbury is to go there with a good team. Not to go there with a weak team and lose. It is to go there with a good team –if they win, they win, but they win against a good team.”
“We are in a difficult situation with regards to today but, when you look at the players who didn’t play – Schürrle, Salah, Zouma, Aké, Mikel – these boys are obviously going to have to play.” Mourinho is quoted as saying by the Guardian.
The fixture list certainly hasn’t been kind on Chelsea and you have to wonder why they couldn’t just have scheduled the Shrewsbury game to be played on Wednesday night instead of Tuesday, but it is what it is and the league leaders are still the heavy favourites to progress.
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