Be afraid Sporting Lisbon, be very very afraid, for the destroyer of the Premier League is back in contention to start in the Champions League game tonight in Lisbon.
Jose Mourinho has made it clear amidst the Diego Costa injury scare that he is ready to risk the Goal Machine against the Portuguese Club. It means even though Sporting Lisbon may not have conceded more than one goal in any of the game this season, but with Costa starting, the odds suddenly don’t look in their favor.
Oh! and best of luck to the unfortunate Centre backs with the job of containing Costa. We will sympathise with you after the mauling!
Here’s what Mourinho had to say when he was inquired about Diego Costa injury:
“Diego starts,” said the Chelsea manager. “I have the feeling that, next week, he goes to the national team. And I have the feeling that, with the national team, they will make no consideration for the fact he’s in trouble. So, in Lisbon, he plays. And, hopefully, he plays Sunday again against Arsenal. There is a risk, yes. But we accept that risk, he plays and, hopefully, everything goes well. Then we hope, from Tuesday to Sunday, he has enough time to be back on track again and play against Arsenal.
We certainly hope that Costa is fit enough to start against the Gooners. I for one want to see how he and Fabregas team up to destroy the so called best centre-backs of Premier League in Mertesacker and Koscielny (yeah right! the Gooners think so!). That would be a fun night, but right now let’s focus on Lisbon.
Mourinho further elaborates the reason for not starting Remy and risking Costa:
“In this moment, if Diego can play, I play Diego. The team had a pre-season with him. The team have worked with him a lot of times. He’s played with us every match in the Premier League so far. So the team, at this moment, is more made to play with Diego. Loïc Rémy’s learning how to play with us – his movement is good, his pace is good, he can get behind defenders and he is not bad in the air – but I would prefer to play Diego.”
Fair enough. We had to share a point against Schalke, so it’s important we get a result, meaning we line up our strongest team against Sporting Lisbon tonight. Add to that it’s also Mourinho’s old club where he worked as Sir Bobby Robson’s interpreter back in 1992.
Even during his time in the Portuguese League, Mourinho in his six meetings with Sporting as manager of Benfica, Leiria and Porto, has never lost to these opponents. Yet, the hosts are unbeaten in 16 European games at the Alvalade – only three of them draws – stretching back to 2010, and intent upon making a grand return to the competition after an absence of five years.
It could be an emotional and awkward return for the boss, but one that he would like to end up in the win.