Paul Merson believes Diego Costa’s absence from the Chelsea team will be decisive in the Blues’ quest to secure a first Premiership title since 2010.
Merson, who served the Gunners for many in the 1990s, says Chelsea will set themselves up to stop Arsenal scoring when they visit the Emirates on Sunday without their main striker, as they did against Man Utd at home last week.
“If Costa’s fit it’s a different game, but if he’s not fit I can’t see any goals,” Merson told the Express.
“Last week, Chelsea had 30 per cent of the play at home but Man Utd never looked like scoring.”
Chelsea have missed Costa when he has been unable to play this season, and injury and suspension have kept the Spain international out a various points since he joined the club last summer. Chelsea are also missing Loic Remy, also injured, and could be without veteran striker Didier Drogba after reports he picked up an ankle injury in training, meaning they could start with the promising 17-year old Dominic Solanke as the main man up front. There is also the option of deploying Eden Hazard as a striker but Mourino has been reluctant to do this in the past two seasons.