If Jose Mourinho's press conferences aren't the official end of the horrors of an international break, they're the next best thing. Football -- sorry: real football -- is on its way back, which means no more talking about the Sammarinese's day jobs or wondering why 20 percent of our squad has wandered off to Beijing for a week. Instead, we get the manager telling us everyone is injured:
Jose says Diego Costa is a doubt for the game, as are Ramires, Drogba, Mikel and Schurrle. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) October 17, 2014
Ramires' and Didier Drogba's injury concerns are long-standing. Ramires has been out since the 1-1 draw at Manchester City, and Drogba's been battling ankle problems since the start of the season. Meanwhile, we can probably ascribe Diego Costa's to the same hamstring issues that the manager's been talking about forever (and, since he's 'injured', he'll start and score a brace on Saturday).
That leaves André Schürrle's flu and John Obi Mikel's whatever it is he has. The former's probably a bigger blow -- I'd wanted to avoid playing the Brazilians as much as possible after their trip to Asia, and Schürrle being sick means we'll have to rely on Willian and Oscar after a long and doubtless fatiguing trip -- but Mikel's been our shutdown guy when holding onto a narrow lead, and him being out of action isn't great news either.
That said, doubts aren't the same thing as definites, so I think we should probably expect only one or two missing players rather than all five. And as long as Costa plays, that should give us all the impetus we need to take revenge for last year's match against Palace.