Paul Merson: I would be shocked if this key player was axed for Tottenham clash with Chelsea
By Amir Mir
Paul Merson has stated that he would be “shocked” if Diego Costa was axed by Chelsea for their FA Cup semi-final clash against Tottenham.
The 28-year-old striker has failed to find the back of the net during his last five league matches, with his title-chasing team suffering two costly defeats during that period.
Costa will now be tasked to turn his attention to cup matters where his team are looking to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat at Manchester United last Sunday.
Leading up to the game, there had been possible talk that Costa could be starting from the substitutes bench after a string of poor performances.
Speaking on Soccer Saturday, which aired on Sky Sports News, Merson explained why the out-of-form Costa needs to start against Spurs.
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“I’d be shocked if Costa didn’t play,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“There have been a couple of games they have played at Stamford Bridge where they have won quite convincingly, but not in the same class as Tottenham [the oppistion].
“You are going to need someone who is going to hold the ball up in this game and if he plays well they have a chance.”
Over the course of the season, Costa has scored 18 goals in all competitions for his side, including finding the back of the net on one occasion during three FA Cup matches.
The Spain international has been a key player for his team as they aim to win the domestic double this term.
However, since the turn of the year, Costa has only scored three league goals as Chelsea’s promising season begins to falter
Over a month ago, they were ten points clear of Tottenham in the table, but after a number of defeats, they are now only four points ahead of their rivals.
Added with that, Mauricio Pochettino’s team have won seven league games on the bounce as they are one of the in-form teams in the country.
In other Tottenham news, Martin Keown has stated that this is the next natural step for Spurs.