Diego Costa’s failure to score in Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at Newcastle was the third match in a row in which he didn’t trouble the scoreboard operator.
After firing seven in his first four matches in English football, the Brazilian-born Spaniard has now found the net just twice in his last six as his stranglehold on the Premier League golden boot race has distinctly loosened.
Manchester City sharpshooter Sergio Aguero has since overtaken the Blues’ line-leader with 14 goals to his counterpart’s 11, though the Argentine’s knee injury suffered in the Citizens’ 1-0 over Everton has handed Costa a great opportunity to reassert himself.
Given the legion of assister extraordinaires supplying the ammunition, the former Atletico Madrid man’s next goal can’t be too far away, but backing the drought to end when Sporting Lisbon visit next ranks as money wasted.
The Portuguese capital club are 11/10 shots to leak a Diego Costa goal, but with Chelsea already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages as group winners, it’s incredibly unlikely Jose Mourinho will risk his £32m summer signing.
With Didier Drogba in better scoring nick of late – the Ivorian powerhouse has two in as many outings following his consolation goal on Tyneside – he’s likely to start.
This will ensure Costa is fit to face Hull at the weekend, with a price of 6/4 saying the Tigers are the next team to conceded a shot unleashed from his boot.
Woefully out of form, Steve Bruce’s side will be ripe for the picking at Stamford Bridge, where a heavy win for the hosts is surely on the horizon.
Strikers in and out of form have notched against Hull in recent weeks, with Harry Kane, Robin van Persie and Romelu Lukaku all beating Allan McGregor in successive outings for Tottenham, Manchester United and Everton respectively.
Looking beyond the Humberside club’s visit, there’s 5/1 to be had that Costa’s next goal comes against Derby in the Capital One Cup, while 11/1 says it’ll be Stoke and a sizeable 20/1 for the bold believers convinced that his scoring days are done in 2014.