Chelsea have been fairly lucky with injuries so far this season — despite certain Twitter-experts prognostications — with the only injuries of note happening to bench players like Cesc Fabregas, Branislav Ivanovic, and John Terry. But during this international break, we’ve been sweating the status of both Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.
Hazard, by all indications, appears to be none worse for the wear, but Diego Costa keeps missing training sessions and that’s not exactly a confidence-inspiring situation.
He missed two days with Spain last week before being sent home with a groin issue; now, he also failed to participate in full training with Chelsea on Wednesday. He did “work with the ball”, which probably means that the problem is manageable. According to Matt Law of the Telegraph, Chelsea remain “confident” that Costa will be available on Sunday against Middlesbrough.
That said, perhaps it would be wise to keep him out even if he insists on playing. Of the next three games, Boro is undoubtedly the easiest, with a home game against Spurs and then a trip to Manchester City to follow. If there’s any doubt about Costa, I’d certainly prefer to hand a start to Batshuayi this weekend and make sure that the Premier League’s leading goalscorer is fully ready for the next two games.