Diego Costa has been on fire this season and his number one slot as Chelsea’s top striker isn’t under any threat, the only thing stopping him from playing against Middlesbrough is injury.
The Spanish international wouldn’t be part of Spain’s games against Macedonia and England due to a groin injury, and it might also rule him out of next Sunday’s clash against Middlesbrough. Left for me, Diego Costa should be given a rest in that game even if he’s fit, so as not to aggravate the injury, and in turn he’d be fully fit to face Tottenham and Manchester City.
The big question is: Who should take Costa’s spot? Michy Batshuayi is the second striker and he would be itching for a first Premier League start, and we also have an in-form Pedro Rodriguez that can slot in as a striker. If Pedro starts as a striker, it’ll open up room for Willian to start his first league game since the 2-0 victory against Hull City. Pedro has taken his spot since then and the Spaniard has owned it; he has been amazing since Willian’s time away.
However, if Conte opts to play Batshuayi as his main striker against Middlesbrough, the huge dilemma will be — should he start Willian or Pedro???
Starting Batshuayi against Middlesbrough seems to be the perfect choice, as the Belgian will make a better target man than Pedro. Batshuayi has been key for Chelsea in some games this season, and is worthy of a start. It would be bad for his confidence if Conte doesn’t start him, but then the huge dilemma lies in who should start on the right flank — Pedro or Willian?