NEMANJA MATIC has backed Michy Batshuayi to fire Chelsea to yet another victory in Diego Costa’s absence.
Costa picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the Blues’ 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Satruday and will now miss their Boxing Day clash with Bournemouth.
Costa has netted a superb 13 league goals already this season, including the winner against Palace, but Matic is sure Batshuayi can fill the Spaniard’s boots.
He told the London Evening Standard: “When you have Diego in the team it is very hard to get a chance because he is playing so well and scoring goals.
“But I’m sure Michy is ready to take his opportunity because he is working hard every day. He is a good man.
“We won’t have Diego against Bournemouth but I hope Michy will be the man to decide the game. If he does that it will be good for us.
“He is a great striker, for sure, that is why Chelsea bought him. I’m sure if he gets a chance to score in the next game, he’ll take it.
“Everyone is prepared to play. But it is up to the coach to decide who will play on the day of the game.
“Everyone works hard like they’re going to play so this is normal in football.”
Chelsea signed Batshuayi from Marseille over the summer for £33m but the 23-year-old is yet to start a match in the Premier League.
Despite his lack of game-time, Matic says the young Belgian ace is learning from playing alongside the likes of Costa in training every day.
“Of course he has benefited from working with Costa,” the Serbia midfielder added.
“It was the same with me seven years ago [in Matic’s first spell at the club].
“It was very good for me to see how Frank Lampard played, how Michael Ballack played and Michael Essien.
“So it is good for Michy and a good experience for him to see Diego’s movement. He will have learned from watching and playing with Diego [in training].”