Following an inspiring victory at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, the Blues face a midweek test in the Champions League against a very familiar Schalke 04 side. The high flying Chelsea side will be relishing their clash with the Germans on Wednesday on the back of their very good performance against Swansea on Saturday.
Integral to the performance was the Chelsea front man Diego Costa, who has banged in 7 goals in the league so far. Although the London side will need the very efficient services of the talented Spaniard, they should be mindful of how much time he gets on the pitch, following his latest injury scares.
Costa was rumoured to have picked up three separate injuries since his move to the Bridge. And his history with niggling muscle injuries prior to the move has been well publicized. Although the Champions League is a priority for Chelsea, the game against Schalke 04 is still just one game amongst many.
A scenario in which the London club loses their talismanic striker in a group stage Champions league tie against a team they beat comfortably in last year’s competition, would be a silly mistake indeed. Even though Diego is needed by his team right now, he will be needed even more when the latter stages of both the Premier League and the Champions League are coming thick and fast.
Despite the Spaniard’s strong performances so far, the game on Saturday showed that even in Costa’s absence, the Blues latest signing Loic Remy could do an adequate job of filling in. The French striker peeled off the Swansea defenders and curled a powerful shot past Fabianski and into the net.
In a worst case Scenario, in which both Costa and Remy are absent from the action due to injury, Chelsea’s third striker Didier Drogba is more than capable of replicating his formerly world class form. Irrespective of the striker situation at the club, Chelsea should easily progress from a group that in addition to Schalke also includes teams like Sporting Lisbon and Maribor.
At the end of the day, despite injury reports surfacing before every match he plays, Diego Costa has never missed a match for the club that invested 32 million pounds to acquire his very unique services. Only time will tell if the 2012 Champions League winners will take the risk and rest their best player in the League thus far.