Three reasons why Diego Costa can fire Chelsea to victory over PSG

Gregor Vasconcelos puts Diego Costa in the spotlight ahead of PSG v Chelsea

Chelsea finally have a world-class striker

When Chelsea lost 3-1 at the Parc des Princes last season, Jose Mourinho complained about his squad’s lack of options upfront. As irony would have it, Demba Ba got them through in the away leg, but in France, but the Blues played without a centre-forward before Fernando Torres came off the bench. This year, though, they can’t have the same complaint. Diego Costa has scored 17 goals in 19 league games, numbers that Chelsea haven’t seen since Didier Drogba’s first spell at the club. He hasn’t played since the League Cup semi-final win against Liverpool and he is yet to score a Champions League goal for Chelsea. His mere presence, however, should be enough to provide PSG defending duo with plenty to worry about at the very least.

Costa is world’s most irritating player to mark

Costa is a big bully. He is the master of gamesmanship and how to get the better of his markers in a psychological battle. Opposition defenders never have a moment’s peace when marking the Chelsea striker: he tugs, tackles and even stamps from time to time. When he gets the ball, he holds his markers off, never loses possession. This leads to defenders becoming irritated and breaking their concentration. If Costa is kept relatively quiet for 90 minutes, he only needs once chance to come up with the goods.

How is Luiz going to handle him?

With all that in mind, how is David Luiz, a defender renowned for his lapses in concentration, meant to deal with Costa’s presence? When things are going wrong, Luiz tends to lose his cool and get caught out of position: just look at Brazil’s 7-1 defeat by Germany. This is the reason Chelsea let him go after he had often been moved to defensive midfield as to not be a liability at the back. Luiz will be playing alongside Thiago Silva, maybe the only centre-back in the world capable of taming his more attacking instincts. His opponent, however, will get under his skin maybe in a way the Brazilian hasn’t experience before. Will he be able to keep his cool?

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