This match preview was obviously going to be about last season’s Champions playing host to the champions elect but that will have all changed with the breaking news that came to light on Friday evening and it’s here we have Diego Costa enter the stage.
That’s because Costa has been sensationally dropped by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte after an apparent bust up between the two yesterday in regards to the Spanish international’s fitness. A row which now has us all guessing as to whether or not this is the last we will see of Costa in a Chelsea shirt.
With Chinese clubs ready to pay whatever it would take and much much more to get a player of Costa’s calibre there will undoubtedly be a queue of mega-rich outfits ready to swoop in on this situation and remove Chelsea’s star player off their hands.
The task now for Antonio Conte is to make sure that this bust up does not overshadow preparations for the trip to Leicester this evening, although in fairness you could argue that it already has and after losing their winning streak to rivals Tottenham this is not the ideal preparation going into their trip to The King Power Stadium.
Failure to win this Evening and people will ask themselves ‘are the wheels falling off the Chelsea wagon’ after such an impressive winning streak which was finally bought to an end at White Hart Lane 10 days ago many would love to see The Blues now hit a run of form in the complete opposite manner.
Mainly because it would make the title race a lot more interesting, Antonio Conte went on to say after defeat to Tottenham that it’s a 6 horse race for the title this season. That may be a bit generous what with some of the deficits Chelsea’s rivals have but a few more dropped points along the way and you never quite know do you.
With Costa-gate fresh in everyone’s mind they travel to a Leicester side who are doing their best to outdo Chelsea’s own meek title defence of last season. The Foxes currently find themselves 15th in the table and although they have not lost their last two league matches they are still nervously looking over their shoulder.
That is because they are 6 points off the drop zone at present and although that is a decent enough buffer between them and the bottom three they could do with getting a run of decent results under their belt to make sure that the buffer does not start to become eroded.
Last time out in the league they were held to a draw by Middlesbrough in arguably one of the worst games of Football you will see this season. If that was your first ever game that you watched then on the basis of that you probably would not bother again.
Leicester have been busy in the transfer market as they have sold Jeffrey Schlupp to Crystal Palace for £9m while signing Wilfred Ndidi for £15m. Their transfer business has not been that impressive since winning the title so Leicester fans will be hoping that the capture of Ndidi will buck the trend.
For Chelsea with Costa not included in the squad the decision for Conte will be whether to go with the same attack line that beat Bournemouth on Boxing Day or whether or not he plumps for the inclusion of Michuy Batshuyai this time around. With Conte preferring to sticking to what he knows best you would have to imagine it will be the former.
So Costa has already dominated the preview, he will dominate the build up and the analysis all without even playing but will his absence be to the detriment to the side or can this Blue machine once again get back up to top speed after finally tasting defeat. I think Chelsea will return to winning ways but it will certainly not be the last we hear on Costa’s future at the club.