No Diego Costa? No Problem.
On minute 75 of the Hull City-Chelsea clash, Diego Costa was substituted for Loic Remy for what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
Both the club, and the Spanish FA have hence confirmed that, the Blues’ striker has indeed a ‘level 1 hamstring tear on the biceps femoris of the left thigh’; which will keep him out for 2 weeks at least.
When asked about the difficulties Chelsea might face without their first choice talisman, Jose wasn’t too concerned and he said:
“We know his hamstring is not a strong one. He works hard through the week to compensate the weakness he has there but the injury can come. If he is injured then we have Remy, we have Drogba. We never cry about injured players.”
The Chelsea captain, John Terry has since spoken to the media about the injury. He said:
“Hopefully Diego is okay but Loic (Remy) always gets chances, he’s been a really big signing for us. He’s a great asset for us to throw on with 20 minutes to go or even if Diego is out.”
And to be honest, both the gaffer and the captain are making a pretty good point. Remy has been a good contributor for Chelsea in whatever limited chances he has had. With 6 goals in 23 appearances out of which 15 are from the bench, Remy has been on the score sheet from time to time and at times when it has mattered.
Chelsea also have Didier Drogba, who also reminded everyone that he can still deliver, by playing and scoring when Diego was last injured. He has had 6 goals and 2 assists in 26 appearances this season, which is good for a 37-year-old veteran and a ‘third striker’ at Chelsea.
Furthermore, concentrating only on the premier league; where Remy has 15 appearances as compared to Costa’s 23, and Drogba’s 21; we can certainly dive on a few more stats to analyze exactly how it’s going to happen.
Remy has a 58% shot accuracy rate, while Costa has 63% and for Drogba it is only 38%. The high percentage for Costa is largely dependent on the fact that all his goals for us has been from inside the box and also because he has played more; while Drogba sometimes likes to do the unexpected, by hitting shots from unlikely angles and distances.
Meanwhile Remy has a passing accuracy of 79%, which is highest amongst the three, which also shows us his willingness to drop deep to get possession and also go out wide, to create more chances. But Drogba likes to be the target man, with his hold up play being his biggest attribute, and he usually winning headers from goal kicks makes him the better player when we’ll be facing the physicality of Stoke. Remy too wins headers, but his 36% of aerial duels won is of no comparison to Drogba’s 47%.
On the other hand, if Mourinho wants to apply high pressure and speedy counter attack as his weapons, or even running behind the defenders, then Remy is the better option, because of his stamina and pace, which Drogba has already lost, owing to the fact that he is 37(!) now.
It certainly looks like the absence of Diego won’t affect the team much. Diego Costa is expected to be back after the Stoke game. Meanwhile, either Remy or Drogba can fill in the void equally well, depending on whichever style of play the manager decides to operate in.
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Edited By: Ojas Tripathi