Does it seem written in the script that Diego Costa will net against Chelsea this weekend upon his return to Stamford Bridge? With the aura that surrounds the 34-year-old, one of the pantomime villain that Blues fans used to adore during Costa’s four-year stay in West London, it would be just typical if he was to put in the performance of his life and upset the apple cart in the process amid the upwards trajectory Graham Potter’s side are on following confidence- boosting wins against Crystal Palace and most recently AC Milan.
The 34-year-old made his debut from the bench at the weekend for Wolves but couldn’t make the desired impact required to keep Bruno Lage in the job for a little longer as fellow strugglers West Ham United ran out 2-0 winners on the day. But with a new regime inbound amid strong Julen Lopetegui rumours, all Wolves stars including Daniel Podence and Costa alike will be keen to make a statement of intent with Chelsea the first to face a hurting but hungry outfit who have nothing to lose at the weekend.
“It’s difficult, but now we have Diego [Costa] and it’s time to start believing we will score and it will not be like that all the season,” Podence told in- house media ahead of this game week 9 clash. “We have to believe it will change and the first step is to believe that we will have our goals in the future and they will come.”
Despite the Man City loss due to fitness issues, the player in question who won three trophies under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte combined has still made his impact around the club well- known despite the lack of playing opportunities afforded his way. Podence added:
“When he came here, we didn’t know if he could be this good or not because he’s been out of football for some months, and we were struggling, but after one week, we were so sure that it was the right decision from the club and from him to come here. “It’s very good for us to have him here because his quality is unbelievable, his personality and especially his character in the training sessions, the way he played against West Ham away, you can feel – even if he doesn’t speak so much – his presence and his awareness to be there.
“Against Chelsea, I think everyone knows what he did there, the Chelsea players know what kind of player he is and I think they are a little more scared than they were before. But I think it will be great to play there and receive a welcome from the Chelsea fans.”
The misconception that has always followed the former Spanish international around during his playing career has always been that ‘flat track bully stereotype.’ Some rival fans never saw him as a technically gifted player but the 26-year-old has disproved this theory.
“In the past, I thought he [Costa] wasn’t a technical player and just wanted to fight, but now he’s here, it’s unbelievable to see how good he is with the ball, with his feet, and still fighting for the ball,” the Portuguese outlined. I can now understand how he scored so many goals and won so many titles in Atletico and Chelsea.
“Playing with him will be very good for us both, so I’m very happy. We needed someone who can fight because I think we have had a lack of aggression and winning duels. It’s very good for us to see that because if someone like him is doing that at 34-years-old, how can a guy like me at 26 not be doing that. If I see him running a lot, how can I do the opposite? “Just for him being here is great for us because everything we need is running, it’s fighting, it’s scoring goals.”
With Wesley Fofana missing this clash due to a knee sprain sustained in the Champions League victory, an injury which is to keep him out for around four weeks, it will be down to the likes of the experienced Thiago Silva, Kalidou Koulibaly and the less-so Trevoh Chalobah to try and thwart Chelsea’s former number 18 from haunting Potter and Co. this weekend.