Jose Mourinho has moved to dispel any concerns about Chelsea’s ability to do the business against Tottenham without mainline striker Diego Costa and he’s quite right to do so.
The Brazilian-born Spaniard is suspended for Spurs’ visit to Stamford Bridge after he was booked for the fifth time this season during the Blues’ goalless draw at Sunderland, meaning one of Loic Remy or Didier Drogba will start tonight.
Costa’s absence has certainly hampered Chelsea’s favouritism, though at 11/25 they’re still well-fancied to claim the spoils, with the in-form Lilywhites completely friendless at 7/1 next to the 7/2-rated draw.
With a trio of successive victories, the visitors have actually recorded better results than their west London counterparts across a three-match spell, but the Blues won’t require their most prominent net bulging threat to blow Spurs away.
It won’t matter if Remy or Drogba – joint 7/2 favourites to open the scoring – fail to bag too, as Chelsea have a ready-made alternative source of goals to compensate for the loss of Costa.
The Blues have entertained the Bridge faithful on nine instances across all competitions this term and Belgian wizard Eden Hazard has rippled the onion bag in two thirds of these.
He has found the net in each of his side’s last four at base camp, bagging five of his six for the season in these games.
The former Lille flyer was on the scoresheet when Spurs were spanked 4-0 in this fixture last season too.
A price of 5/1 says Hazard is the first to hassle the scoreboard operator this evening, while based on current form he looks a great value 17/10 to register at any point of the contest.
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