Why 18-goal attacker should be dropped ahead of Tottenham v Chelsea showdown
COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte should consider dropping striker Diego Costa ahead of the FA Cup semi-finals.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed a strong season for the Blues so far and scored 18 goals across all competitions.
However, the Spaniard has scored just four times in 2017 and looks a shadow of the player that was terrorising defences at the beginning of the season.
Chelsea turn their attention to an important cup clash against Spurs on Saturday and Conte should make the bold statement to drop his number one forward.
Costa turned in a poor performance in the recent 2-0 defeat to Manchester United and looked off the pace, while also being sloppy in possession.
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The Blues purchased Michy Batshuayi for £33million in the summer and he has been on the fringes of the squad.
He deserves a chance at the weekend, or Conte could look to deploy an attacking set-up of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian as an alternative.
Spurs have had a similar problem with their summer signing Vincent Janssen as the striker has been unable to replicate his good form in English football.
Chelsea need to prove to Costa that he must earn a spot in the starting XI and needs to recapture his best form if he is top help the club clinch the Premier League title.
The Blues and Spurs are in direct competition for the title and Conte’s side have a four-point advantage at the top, but all the momentum appears to be with Mauricio Pochettino’s outfit.
A win for either side in the cup could give a psychological edge to the victors and the chance to win silveware at Wembley.
However, Chelsea’s main priority has to be the league this season and it’s worth leaving Costa out ahead of the crucial domestic run-in.
In other Chelsea news, Asmir Begovic has delivered his verdict on the title run-in.