Mourinho hoping for Costa goals against Sporting Lisbon
The pressure is lifted on Chelsea. Jose Mourinho said they wouldn’t go through an entire season unbeaten, and now, having lost against Newcastle 2-1 last time out, they can now focus on winning trophies.
Next up, having already qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League, by topping Group G, the Blues face Sporting Lisbon at Stamford Bridge, and are odds-on at 4/5 with Coral to win the match.
Chelsea are 9/4 to win by two or more goals, and having beaten them 1-0 in Portugal previously, with the strike coming courtesy of Serbian midfield enforcer Nemanja Matic, and he could be welcomed back into the fold, following his domestic suspension and has odds of 7/1 to net anytime.
Although Diego Costa has taken the Premier League by storm this season, he is yet to have much luck in Europe, having played four matches and not scored. It has, instead, fallen upon veteran and fans favourite Didier Drogba to take up the scoring mantle and he along with Eden Hazard, captain John Terry and Matic have netted twice so far.
Regarding Costa though, Mourinho has said the striker will start scoring again once he improves his fitness.
“For me, the problem is not the goals – they will come as a consequence of his condition,” Mourinho said, on Costa, who is 3/1 to open the scoring against Sporting Lisbon. “He has to improve his condition. He was injured and had many doubts because he went a long time without training.
“Obviously that must have an effect on a player in the way he runs, the way he moves and in his co-ordination. “I don’t think there is any problem but he has to recover.”
For the visitors, Manchester United loanee Nani is the obvious threat, and will be looking to impress against one of his parent club’s biggest rivals.
He is taking the Portuguese league by storm this term, and as a result is 10/3 to net anytime, while striker Islam Slimani, who has struck six in eight league appearances this term, is 2/1 in the same market.
Willian got on the scoresheet last time out as Chelsea beat Schalke 5-0, and the wily Brazilian is 7/2 to strike in the anytime market. Under Mourinho, he is having perhaps his best season in a Chelsea shirt and seems to be finally adapting to life in England.