Champions League

Costa set to miss Maribor clash

2014-10-20 08:56
Diego Costa (Supplied)
Diego Costa (Supplied)

London - The likely absence of Diego Costa should not stop Chelsea staying in command of Group G of the Champions League, with the Premier League leader a big favourite to beat Maribor at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is unsure when Costa will be back after the striker returned injured from international duty after playing back-to-back games for Spain.

Didier Drogba or Loic Remy will fill in if Costa is not available for Chelsea, which is top of its group with four points from two games. Maribor and Schalke have two points and Sporting has one.

Costa has been carefully managed by Mourinho in his first season at Chelsea, with the striker hindered by persistent hamstring problems that affected him at the end of last season at Atletico Madrid.

Mourinho does not believe Costa is fit enough to play more than one game a week, so was unhappy to see him play the full match against Slovakia and 82 minutes against Luxembourg in the recent international break for European Championship qualifiers.

Costa, who has scored nine goals in his first seven Premier League games, was not even a substitute for Chelsea's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, a result that kept the team top of the standings and preserved its unbeaten start to the season.

"He will play for me when he has free time from the national team," Mourinho said sarcastically after the Palace match.

"I think Diego will be in great condition again in mid-November, to be back for the national team. That is for sure."

Remy replaced Costa against Palace, but Drogba started in the 1-1 draw with Schalke in their opening group match in the Champions League and could be preferred again in Europe.

Slovenian champion Maribor has traveled to England in each of the last three seasons in European competition and lost each time. And none of its opponents had the pedigree of Chelsea.

Birmingham, Tottenham and Wigan all won in the Europe League against Maribor, whose record in six games against English opposition is one win, one draw and four losses.

Maribor's last trip to Britain was successful, though beating Scottish champion Celtic in the Champions League play-off to claim a place in the group stages.

And Ante Simundza's side has started Group F well, drawing 1-1 at home to Sporting thanks to a stoppage-time equalizer and then by the same score away to Schalke.

Read more on:    chelsea  |  champions league  |  diego costa  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.