Seeing ancillary striker Loic Remy hobble out of Chelsea’s 6-0 demolition of Maribor in the Champions League will have undoubtedly unnerved many cocksure Blues ahead of their trip to Manchester United.
The imperious west Londoners have raced to the top of the Premier League after dropping jut two points in their opening eight outings and, as a result, are available to back at 53/100 to win the title.
But should Remy miss the match at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho’s men will be lumbered with aged Didier Drogba as their only line-leading option, assuming Diego Costa’s everlasting hamstring problems confine him to the treatment room.
Last term the Special One was adamant that his team couldn’t win the league on account of their shortcomings in the final third.
Back then his arsenal contained geriatric hitman Samuel Eto’o, the pub league striker Fernando Torres and underappreciated Demba Ba.
While neither Remy nor Costa are officially out of Chelsea’s sojourn to the Theatre of Dreams, there’s a chance both won’t feature, leaving Drogba as the only alternative if Mourinho wishes to keep the formation that’s brought him so much early-season success.
Of the two options – the Ivorian, or the trio dubbed insufficient by the Portuguese himself – it’s blatantly obvious which is the strong strike force.
So, using Mourinho’s own logic, they should be considered outsiders for the title as long as Remy and Costa can’t play.
Even if they’re both available for the weekend, they can by no means be depended upon to stay fit for the duration of the campaign.
French forward Remy was swerved by Liverpool after failing a medical, insinuating he has an overriding health concern, while he missed 16 games for QPR and Newcastle over the previous two seasons through injury.
In addition to being a suspension risk on account of his uber-aggressive style of play, Costa missed seven matches (and was withdrawn early more than once) in his final Atletico Madrid campaign owing to his brittle hamstrings.
A reoccurrence of these spells on the sidelines could prove disastrous for Chelsea on their title chase so don’t rule out the field just yet.