At the start of this week, Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink proclaimed his intentions to rest Diego Costa in one of the week's two scheduled games. Most of us had assumed that would be Tuesday's game against Norwich City, given the oppositions struggles and the short rest from Saturday's game. But, as we know, Diego was out there starting at the center forward, just as he had the dozen games prior.
It looks like he will be making his 14th consecutive start on Saturday, ahead of yet another massive week of two crucial cup ties (PSG on Wednesday, Everton on Saturday). No rest for the wicked, then.
"He is in perfect physical shape, but we also must be careful not to overload him in games. We monitor them with the data of the medical team and I can make some conclusions from that."
"We are living in an emotional world but sometimes you have to be rational as well. I talk with him about his physical state, which is superb. There is always a danger of him doing too much, and if I share the figures with him he can be rational as well. We must let him go but sometimes I must put him on a leash."
"He wants to play every game. It's difficult to put a brake on him. Tomorrow he will start but maybe he will not play the full game."
-Guus Hiddink; source: Chelsea FC
As most good professionals do, of course Costa wants to play every game. But sometimes that can be a detriment and that's why coaches and the medical staff need to put their foot down if needed. Costa (and his hamstrings) have been in much better shape this season than the last couple, but that's no reason for the team to be taking chance. Presumably, we aren't and Costa is indeed in peak physical shape and all that jazz, but I can't help but worry we're overworking him in semi-meaningless games (i.e. 90 minutes against Norwich City).
In other news, Pedro, Terry, Falcao, and Zouma remain out for tomorrow's match. The captain could be back for Wednesday's Round of 16 second leg however.