Chelsea striker Diego Costa has revealed his hamstring issues are close to being over.
Jose Mourinho last week said that Costa could only play one game a week because of niggling injuries that stretch back to last season. Costa has been a revelation for top of the table Chelsea, scoring seven goals in five Premier League matches for the only undefeated team in the division.
Costa, who cost the Blues £32m, is now adamant that he is close to full fitness despite struggling in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City and missing the Capital One Cup clash with Bolton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Manchester City 1 Chelsea 1 player ratings
Manchester City 1 Chelsea 1 player ratings
1/24 Manchester City: Joe Hart 5
Didn’t have much to do, and couldn’t have prevented Andre Schurrle’s goal.
2/24 Pablo Zabaleta 5
Got forward again and again to support the City attacks, but put his side in trouble when he was sent off in the 65th minute for a second booking.
3/24 Vincent Kompany 6
Dealt well with the threat of Diego Costa in what was a typically accomplished performance.
4/24 Eliaquim Mangala 5
A solid debut from the Frenchman, who looked strong when called upon.
5/24 Aleksandar Kolarov 5
Didn’t offer a great deal going forward but solid defensively.
6/24 Yaya Toure 5
Still a long way from his best, and unable to dictate the pace of the match.
7/24 James Milner 7
Impressive stuff from the England midfielder, who played in three different positions throughout the match, and never stopped working. Provided excellent volleyed assist for Lampard’s goal.
8/24 David Silva 5
A few nice touches, but drifted in and out of the game. Picked up first-half booking.
9/24 Fernandinho 5
Booked in the early stages, which forced the midfielder to curb his naturally combative instincts. Less effective as a result.
10/24 Sergio Aguero 6
Almost scored in the second half with effort from inside the box, but mostly starved of chances.
11/24 Edin Dzeko 5
Worked hard, but didn’t pose much of a threat. Sacrificed for Bacary Sagna after the Zabaleta sending off.
12/24 Frank Lampard 9
Took his goal brilliantly with a trademark volleyed finish, and nearly scored with a couple of other decent efforts. A truly unforgettable 12-minute cameo against his former club.
13/24 Thibaut Courtois 6
Made decent save to deny Aguero in the second half, and looked calm and composed throughout.
14/24 Gary Cahill 6
Kept Dzeko quiet, and stood up well whenever Aguero tried to take him on.
15/24 Branislav Ivanovic 7
Galloped forward to support the attack that led to Schurrle’s goal, and didn’t put a foot wrong defensively.
16/24 Cesar Azpilicueta 6
Dealt well with Silva, and never looked like getting caught out down his side.
17/24 John Terry 6
Marshalled the defence effectively, and largely untroubled.
18/24 Cesc Fabregas 5
A quiet afternoon from the former Arsenal man, who did very little apart from a lovely through ball to Diego Costa late on.
19/24 Willian 5
Worked hard defensively but offered very little going forward. Taken off after an hour.
20/24 Eden Hazard 6
Created Schurrle’s goal with a sumptuous cross, but was peripheral for the most part.
21/24 Ramires 5
Did brilliantly to clear in his own box when Dzeko was about to pounce. Booked in the first half and substituted with an hour gone.
22/24 Nemanja Matic 7
Outmuscled Yaya Toure, which takes some doing, and afforded good protection to his back four. Booked in the first half.
23/24 Diego Costa 6
Gave as good as he got physically against Kompany and Mangala, and unlucky not to score when left-footed effort cannoned off the post.
24/24 Andre Schurrle 6
Scored just eight minutes after coming on, but lost Milner for Lampard’s goal.
"I am still carrying some hamstring discomfort, but every day I feel better. The truth is that over the past week I have worked fine," he told the IBTimes.
"I suffered an injury with Spain and could not play against Macedonia (two weeks ago). It was a shame but then during that week I was treated and could play [against Swansea).
"I'm working to get the best physical condition soon. The games we have now, almost every three days, will help me to get fit."
Costa’s scoring streak in the League came to an end in the 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Sunday.
Mourinho’s side could have moved eight points clear of the defending champions, but conceded a late equaliser from former midfielder Frank Lampard.
Costa still feels Chelsea have made a strong start in their pursuit of silverware and is determined to put the team before personal glory.
He added: "We played against a great team and we knew it would not be easy to win there. But as we were leading the game and got one more man, we thought the victory was near.
"But this is football. City are one of the best teams in the world and to get a point there is important. Hopefully we can win a title this season. That is our goal and I personally hope to continue scoring.
"I don't like to put a personal goal target. I can’t always score but the important thing is that the team did not lose. I always try to improve but the most important thing is that the team is playing well and if the team does well I am sure I will also do fine.”
Mourinho will choose between veteran Didier Drogba or £10.5m signing Loic Remy to start up front in Costa’s absence against Bolton at Stamford Bridge.
Costa believes all three of them have a vital role to play this term and said: "Didier and Remy are great strikers. Everyone knows Didier's story. We know that we must continue working. The important thing is to have a healthy competition to help the team to be better.
"I think there's a great atmosphere in the dressing room. No rivalry. We just fight to improve.
"Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas are great players. It is very easy to play with guys with such a talent. We understand each other very well."
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