With the difficult fixture against Manchester City coming up, Chelsea FC are ready to welcome top striker Diego Costa back into their first team.

 

Costa had been suspended for the last three matches and was replaced by former AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato in the starting lineup. However, with the ban now over, the Spain international is ready to return to the Chelsea first team in this heavyweight fixture.

“Normally when a player is out for that long a period they have a tendency to take a break, but he didn’t,” Blues manager Guus Hiddink said on the club’s official website. “He has been working very hard, including individually when we were on the road. He was here at Cobham working on his own with the staff. He is very eager to play.”

Among the other returnees for Chelsea, defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic and centre-back Gary Cahill are also fit again and may play a part in Saturday’s fixture. However, star winger Eden Hazard, who has a hip problem, has been ruled out of the game.

Meanwhile,Blues captain John Terry is still suffering from an Achilles injury and will not be fit for the game.

City trio miss out on Chelsea game

Manchester City trainingWhile Manchester City are riding high on their recent success in the Champions League, they must continue their tiresome battle on the Premier League front without the help of three key players this weekend — captain Vincent Kompany (calf), playmaker David Silva (ankle) and winger Raheem Sterling (groin).

“For Chelsea, David Silva (ankle) is out, Raheem Sterling has started working but hopefully he’ll be ready Tuesday, and Vincent Kompany should be ready for Tuesday – all the other players are fit,” confirmed Pellegrini on Manchester City’s official website.

Manchester City have quite a congested fixture schedule coming up, as they have to play seven matches in the coming four weeks. Pellegrini says that although Silva is suffering from an ankle injury, he may be able to “manage” for the rest of the season. However, the former Real Madrid coach also claimed that the injury could prevent Silva from participating in certain games till the end of the season.

“I think Silva will manage the situation until end of season, but it’s difficult for him to play two games in a row in quick succession, he has pain in his ankle,” he said.

However, both Sterling and Kompany are expected to return to action for Tuesday’s match against Newcastle United.

Pellegrini’s priorities

Manchester City vs Manchester UnitedWhile it is easy to question Manuel Pellegrini’s commitment to the Manchester City cause given that his departure in the summer has been confirmed, the Chilean will want to finish as high as possible in the league to impress potential suitors. A team of the calibre of Manchester City is always expected to gun for the Premier League title, but this anomalous season has taken that away from the Citizens.

However, their good run in the Champions League means that Pellegrini has already made history with the club, as he became the first manager to take the Sky Blues to the Champions League semi-finals after a 3-2 aggregate win over PSG.

Already 15 points adrift of table toppers Leicester City with just six games to go, Manchester City have very little hopes of winning the Premier League. However, greater glory awaits Pellegrini if he can do the unimaginable and win the Champions League before he bows out of the club.

As such, the Chilean is likely to prioritise Europe’s premier club competition over the Premier League, and that could be reflected in his team selection for the remainder of the season.

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