Speaking after his side restored their six-point advantage at the Premier League’s summit courtesy of a 3-2 win at Hull, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho lamented another injury for striker Diego Costa.
The Brazilian-born Spanish international limped out of the KC Stadium success after suffering another hamstring problem and doubts have been cast as to whether he’ll be fit to face Stoke in two weeks time.
Losing the chief source of goals at such a pivotal stage of the campaign may appear devastating, but the Blues shouldn’t worry even if Costa can’t feature against the Potters.
An impressive debut season in English football has seen the 26-year-old register 20 goals across all competitions, but he hasn’t been as integral to Chelsea’s success as the furore surrounding his absences suggests.
The former Atletico Madrid ace has made 31 starts this term, 65% of which have ended in victory.
A further 29% were drawn, while two losses from these fixtures equate to 6% of his games.
Costa hasn’t made the line up on 14 instances, though with nine triumphs in these games, the difference in west Londoners’ win percentage is negligible, dropping to 64%.
Four draws means the portion of stalemates stays the same, while one loss means 7% of the matches minus the £32m man have ended in defeat.
This solitary loss, however, was the FA Cup fourth round reverse against Bradford, where a second-string Chelsea team succumbed 4-2 to the League One outfit.
The amount of regular starters who were omitted from this game provide extenuating circumstances which mean it would be unfair to rank it alongside a standard Premier League fixture, for instance.
Loic Remy reaffirmed everyone’s belief that he’s better than a last resort striking option against the Tigers, coming on to score the winning goal within two minutes of being introduced.
It took his tally to six for the season, three of which have fallen in the previous 11 matches, of which only four saw him pitched in from the off.
The Frenchman bagged two on his last appearance against Stoke when on loan at Newcastle and is more than capable of doing the business when the Staffordshire side visit Stamford Bridge if Costa isn’t fit.
Mark Hughes’ men haven’t scored in seven sojourns to this corner of the nation’s capital, rendering a Chelsea win to nil excellent value at 4/5.
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