Two of referee Jon Moss’s many random decisions on Saturday noon was to hand out yellow cards to Diego Costa and N’Golo Kanté, which means that two of Chelsea’s most important players will miss our next match.
Costa, having gone a dozen appearances without a card, was cautioned for his first transgression (similar challenges were later ruled not even a foul) while Kanté was punished for persistent fouling (unlike, say, Cabaye or McArthur or Puncheon or Benteke or Moses or...).
With five players on four yellow cards entering the weekend, it was always going to be a matter of time before somebody got suspended for getting their fifth yellow before the amnesty kicks in on January 1st. The hope was that they’d avoid getting suspended all at the same time, and that they would avoid getting suspended for the Spurs match on the 4th of January.
If Costa and Kanté had to miss a game, Bournemouth at the Bridge is probably the best choice. They should now be available for both the Stoke city match on December 31st and the aforementioned trip to White Hart Lane. Until then, Batshuayi can deputize for Costa and some combination of Fàbregas, Matić, and Chalobah can try to deputize for Kanté.
David Luiz, Nemanja Matić, and Pedro remain on four yellows.