With a health squad once again at his disposal, the big question facing Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte is whether to select Diego Costa to start against Hull City on Sunday. Costa did not travel with the squad to Leicester last weekend due to, depending on whom you believe, a back injury or a training ground bust-up or a row over a potential transfer offer from China or a combination of all three, but the club's leading goalscorer was back in training this week and looking willing and happy once again.
In his pre-match press conference on Friday, Conte has confirmed that Costa is available and ready for selection after training with a fitness coach on Sunday and Monday and then re-joining the rest of the squad after the scheduled day off. Conte also confirmed that Costa wants to stay and play for Chelsea and that he's happy at the club. (And to stop asking about some silly row; the truth is already out there!)
Conte confirms Costa is available for selection on Sunday #cfc— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) January 20, 2017
Conte says Costa is happy to stay at #Cfc and will be at the club for the rest of the season. Says no problem with him— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) January 20, 2017
Conte on Diego Costa's potential 100th appearance for Chelsea: 'It's a great achievement and I hope to celebrate it with a win.' #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 20, 2017
So, who will join Costa on his 100th appearance for Chelsea?
The short answer is that all the usual suspects. The slightly longer answer is that Cesc Fàbregas will probably rotate in for Nemanja Matić, just as he's done in the last three home games (in all competitions). The rest is as we know.
Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Fàbregas, Kanté, Moses | Hazard, Costa, Pedro
The community's preferred choice is the same.
Courtois (98%) | Cahill (76%), David Luiz (95%), Azpilicueta (95%) | Alonso (87%), Fàbregas (63%), Kanté (92%), Moses (93%) | Hazard (97%), Costa (81%), Pedro (83%)