Ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Chelsea on Sunday (Watch live on NBCSN, 9 a.m. ET and online via Live Extra) you won’t have to remind Gunners boss Arsene Wenger that he has never beaten Jose Mourinho in 11 previous attempts.
The main threat to Wenger’s side this time around is Chelsea’s red-hot striker Diego Costa, as the Spanish international forward has scored eight times in his first six Premier League games. Remarkable.
Costa’s efficient finishing hasn’t gone unnoticed by Wenger, who praised Costa and Chelsea’s other attacking threats before the London clubs do battle at Stamford Bridge.
Wenger told Arsenal’s website that he has been particularly impressed with the way Costa has settled into the style of play in the PL so quickly.
“I’ve never seen a player adapt as quickly as he has. He has done fantastically well,” Wenger said. “He has all the aspects of a striker that you like – he is focused, always determined and ready for a fight. He has also got players who can feed him like (Cesc) Fabregas and Eden Hazard, who can find him with final balls. Costa is a very efficient player. The timing of his runs and his determination, his killing determination – you feel he is a killer, he has that in him (when in front of goal).”
Costa’s persistent hamstring issues have been a concern for Mourinho all season but the Blues have managed to nurse Costa through the pain and he even played a full 90 minutes for Chelsea away against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Wenger is right to be concerned, as Costa is ripping teams apart. His movement in and around the box is phenomenal. Watch his deft darts on Sunday. One step back, two forward. A shuffle away from the ball and then a burst into the box. Ghosting off the back shoulders of defenders while they are watching the ball. He is the definition of a poacher and if Arsenal fail to lock him down on Sunday, Costa will lead Chelsea to their sixth win in seven games.