Diego Costa declared fit for Chelsea’s Champions League tie at Sporting Lisbon

Chelsea v Sporting Lisbon @ Estádio José Alvalade

Tuesday 30 September @19.45

Jose Mourinho has confirmed Diego Costa will start for Chelsea in their Champions League clash with Sporting Lisbon this evening.

It had been feared the Blues’ star striker would miss the clash with a hamstring injury, but he will now start in Portugal.

“There is a risk, but he plays,” said Mourinho.

“We assume the risk. Hopefully, everything goes well and he is back on track to play against Arsenal.”

In Chelsea’s second Champions League game of the season Mourinho returns to his homeland, where he has previously managed Sporting’s two big domestic rivals, Benfica and Porto, with his Chelsea side unbeaten in all competitions this season winning six games, drawing two.

Despite being labelled a ‘small team like Stoke’ by Manuel Pellegrini following their defensive display in the recent 1-1 draw at the Etihad, Chelsea have scored 22 goals, averaging almost three a game.

With relatively few injuries, Chelsea have so far fielded a settled team, especially defensively, and new players Costa and Cesc Fabregas have fitted in seamlessly.

However, they will be without Ramires and Didier Drogba for the clash with Sporting as they are both out injured.

Chelsea opened their Champion’s League campaign with a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Schalke, while Sporting could only manage a draw in the group’s other opening fixture at Slovenian minnows Maribor.

Luis Nani, on loan from Manchester United, scored a superb strike in that match and he will be supported against Chelsea by Islam Slimani, the Algerian centre forward who had an excellent game against eventual champions Germany at this year’s World Cup.

Domestically, Sporting have made a slow start, currently languishing seventh in the Portugal Premeira Liga.

Chelsea celebrated Jose Mourinho’s 250th game in charge on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa, and will be looking to do the same for John Terry, who makes his 100th appearance in the Champion’s League for Chelsea tonight.

Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz

Star Man: Diego Costa

Danger Man: Luis Nani

Picture courtesy of Stephen Morris, with thanks

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