Jose Mourinho knows which of Diego Costa’s buttons to jam, so it is telling that the Special One’s reaction to his star striker’s three-match ban for troublemaking at Arsenal wasn’t to cool him down but to intensify the Spanish Brazilian’s feelings of injustice.
English football’s leading conspiracy theorist spoke of a plot to deny Chelsea access to their 2014/15 top scorer, stating that “the desire to suspend him is so big” and “I’m happy to have only one and let him play until they decide to suspend him again”.
Even Cesc Fabregas got in on the act, observing that: “He’s frustrated, obviously, and rightly so. It’s very unfair what’s happened to him.” All of which leaves Porto with the petrifying prospect of confronting a Costa even more irate than the one who last appeared against Arsenal.
The angry 26-year-old has a point to prove in the Champions League too after somehow going through his debut season at Stamford Bridge without notching in seven European outings. He started making amends with a goal in Chelsea’s first fixture this term.
As if that aggression isn’t intimidating enough, the 2003/04 Champions League winners will also be aware that the Premier League problems of their former coach and his Blues squad haven’t carried over into cup competitions.
Chelsea’s two cup ties in September were won in thoroughly convincing fashion, 4-0 at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League and 4-1 away to Walsall in the Capital One Cup.
It might not be four away to Porto, but the Portuguese runners-up certainly have defensive flaws to pick at, as evidenced by the two goals that they conceded when visiting Dynamo Kiev in their Group G opener, and the two yielded to lowly Moreirense on Friday night.
With a Chelsea victory and a Costa goal seemingly imminent, Ladbrokes have the perfect offer for punters, boosting the odds on both of these events taking place from 4/1 to 5/1.
The forward has fired in triumphs on 16 separate occasions already in his Blues career.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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