LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Chelsea will be without top forward Diego Costa for the midweek Premier League battle with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
Costa is missing as he’s suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card on Saturday in the 0-0 draw with Sunderland.
Veteran Didier Drogba, who started for Costa at Old Trafford earlier this season, will likely get the nod upfront as the replacement for the Spanish international, although manager Jose Mourinho says fellow summer recruit Loic Remy is also in line to start.
Tottenham, in the meantime, welcome back defender Kyle Naughton after he received a two-match ban, while full-back Kyle Walker could also be in the squad after stepping up his recovery from abdominal surgery with an appearance for the Under-21s against Manchester City on Monday.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino is set to make game-time decisions on the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Andros Townsend, Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose, who have all missed the club’s last three outings.
“We’ll analyse everyone,” Mauricio said to the club’s official website at www.tottenhamhotspur.com.
“We have one day less than Chelsea to prepare, so we’ll analyse each case and then we’ll make a decision.”
Leaders Chelsea were frustrated after failing to score in their last outing against Sunderland on Saturday, but the bookmakers are predicting goals, which means it could be a very lively London derby.
Spurs forward Roberto Soldado broke his goalscoring drought by netting the winner in the 2-1 victory over Everton at the weekend, and he’s now looking forward to building on that form.
The win was their third in four in the EPL.
Chelsea are 13 points ahead of Tottenham in the table standings and undefeated thus far in the league, but Soldado believes the visitors are good enough to spring a surprise at Stamford Bridge.
This would be a first for Tottenham, who are seeking their first win at Stamford Bridge in the English Premier League after losing 14 of their 22 visits.
“For me, Chelsea are the best team in the Premier League,” said Soldado on the club’s website.
“We are very good away from home and we feel we are a strong team, so we need to continue our away form and keep the confidence high.
“The win against Everton was very important. Why can’t we win at Stamford Bridge? It’s difficult but we will go there to win.”
Chelsea midfield playmaker Oscar admits that the game away to Sunderland on Saturday was a difficult one, but noted that the league leaders are confident and ready to collect all three points against the visitors on Wednesday.
“Against Sunderland it was a difficult match,” Oscar told the official Chelsea website at www.chelseafc.com. “We did everything we could to try and win the game but we couldn’t.”
The Brazilian added: “A draw wasn’t a bad result but now our focus is on playing Tottenham in front of our fans.
“We want to win the game and strengthen our position at the top of the table.
“Tottenham are an attacking side but that doesn’t mean they will play that way against us because we are very strong at home.
“We don’t know how they will set their team up but it suits us if they try to attack.”