Chelsea v West Brom: Costa and Schurrle fit. We wait for Fabregas.
Speaking this afternoon in his pre match press conference, Jose Mourinho revealed that Diego Co...
Speaking this afternoon in his pre match press conference, Jose Mourinho revealed that Diego Costa and Andre Schurrle are both passed fit but we wait on Cesc Fabregas.
Chelsea sit top of the league, four points clear of our nearest rivals Southampton and the message from Mourinho is that we focus on each game at a time, not to think too far ahead but only on our next opponent.
The disruptive international break is over and everyone is back as we look to start again. Players who were not involved in the internationals had been given plenty of days off to relax, to recharge their batteries and that's going to be important as we head to the busiest part of our season.
Nathan Ake is out injured, Mikel has only arrived back at Chelsea this morning and although Ramires is available to play, he is carrying an injury so I would be surprised if he starts.
So to Cesc Fabregas and it's obvious that Chelsea want to give him as much time as possible to be declared fit as we know just how important he is next to Nemanja Matic.
After the row that has erupted between Chelsea and Spain over Costa and Fabregas, we could take the view that with the amount of games coming up, we could afford to rest them and play Loic Remy and Ramires in their place but Jose was adamant that if they are fit, they play.
He said of Costa, Fabregas, the Christmas period and the game tomorrow:
"Nathan Ake is out for a few weeks. John Mikel I don't know, he only got back this morning. Diego Costa is totally recovered, the same with Schurrle. Fabregas hopefully will be fit, Ramires can play, his injury is improving, but he is not in very good condition.
(On Costa) The Christmas period is new for him. He has worked with a club physio even during a little holiday [during the international break]. He is on four bookings [only one away from a suspension] but will I protect him? No."
It's a different phase, but it doesn't mean that we can train more. I know it's very difficult for me, and especially for the players and their bodies, but I love it. I look forward to the marathon Christmas period.
I expect to win, but I expect a very very difficult match. They have a good team, they can give us a very difficult match. They know that they can get a result against us, because they got it in the past.
If we lose matches it will not be because of complacency. It will be because football is football.
We have a situation now, but our distance to our opponents tomorrow can increase or decrease. I compare us with the next opponent. In this moment I don't think about being champion, I just think about winning West Brom."
You really get the impression that these international breaks irritate Mourinho. We know he that is meticulous with his preparation for our games and as soon as he arrived back after Liverpool, he was planning for tomorrow but has had to wait and hope no one gets injured.
That's just how amazing the man is though isn't it. Whereas with players with knocks you would be tempted to give them extended rest, Mourinho knows just how important building the gap is at this stage of the season. I love the fact that he works as he does and no team is better than the other, they are all treated the same.
Hopefully, Chelsea will be as strong as possible and pick up another three points but as Jose says, it will be a hard fought game as always.
Fingers crossed Fabregas is passed fit!