Ahead of Chelsea’s opening game of the Premier League season it is unclear whether or not start striker Diego Costa will be fit for the reigning champions.
[ MORE: Mourinho, Wenger feud continues ]
Costa, 26, suffered an injury in Chelsea’s International Champions Cup match against Barcelona in Washington D.C. last week, as the Spanish international once again injured his troublesome hamstring.
The man who scored 20 goals in 37 games in all competitions during his debut season at Chelsea last year spent most of the second half of the 2014-15 season either suspended or on the treatment table, as hamstring issues which have plagued the powerful since the latter stages of the 2013-14 season continue to rumble on.
[ MORE: Three things from Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea ]
Speaking about Costa’s fitness following Chelsea’s 1-0 FA Community Shield defeat to Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday — the former Atletico Madrid striker was left out of Chelsea’s 18-man squad — Jose Mourinho couldn’t confirm whether or not his star striker will be ready for the big kick off against Swansea City on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra).
“I don’t know,” Mourinho said. “You think I’m lying, but I’m not. When I told you two days ago he was ready to play, he was ready to play and yesterday he trained normal. At the end of the training session he told us he was feeling uncomfortable. He had a little problem after the Barcelona game. After that he was training normally and we thought he would be ready, but then he was feeling uncomfortable.”
“The next time you ask me, I prefer not to answer. If you ask me if he plays against Swansea, I don’t answer because maybe yes, maybe no. I prefer not to answer. But [Radamel] Falcao will have a bit more football. Falcao will play from the start against Fiorentina, [Loic] Remy too. So if we don’t have Diego, I am happy with the strikers we have.”
With Remy and Falcao splitting the game with 45 minutes each up front on Sunday, it is unclear as to who is the favorite to step in and start for Chelsea should Costa not be fit. Remy failed to get going in the first half, while Falcao looked sharp at stages but is still lacking match fitness. Not an ideal situation heading into the season for “The Special One.”
There’s no doubt about it, without Costa Chelsea is a much weaker offensive unit and the sooner they can nurse their Spanish striker back to full fitness, the better. But with these recurring hamstring injuries, is this a chronic issue and have we seen the best of Costa?
Only time will tell.