EPL 2016-17: Diego Costa most likely to be fit for Chelsea's clash against Middlesbrough
Chelsea Manager Antonio Conte received a huge fitness boost ahead of his clash against Middlesbrough as star striker Diego Costa has been declared fit for the game, according to English daily, The Sun. Costa suffered a groin strain which kept out him out of Spain's games against Macedonia and England and the former Atletico Madrid striker was sent back to London.
The Chelsea medical team examined the severity of his groin strain and the Spanish international is reportedly available for selection when Chelsea travel to the Riverside to take on Aitor Karanka’ s side.The Chelsea hitman is back to his best this season and is currently the leading goalscorer in the Premier League.
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The 28-year-old has scored nine goals for the Blues this season and he will be keen to add more to his tally in the game against Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Costa is not the only casualty in the Chelsea squad as this international break proved to be a tough one for The Blues. Eden Hazard’s involvement in the Middlesbrough game is still a doubt after he picked up a knock on his calf and he came off after 73 minutes during Belgium’s 8-1 win over Estonia.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and full back Cesar Azpilicueta also picked up minor knocks during the international break and teenager Ruben Loftus-Cheek didn't feature for the England U-21's as he is suffering from a hamstring injury.
Antonio Conte’s side has seen a remarkable turnaround in form, after suffering successive defeats at the hands of Liverpool and Arsenal, and are currently on a five-match winning streak. Conte switched to a 3-4-3 system after the defeat at the Emirates and that has worked out ever so well for The Blues.
Chelsea have scored 16 goals in their last five outings and haven’t conceded even a single goal, taking them to the second position on the league table, just a point behind leaders Liverpool. The Middlesbrough game will be a stern test for Conte’s men as the Smoggies have played well against the big boys in the division.
They have managed to come away with a point from their visits to the Emirates and the Etihad stadium and will be expecting to take at least a point from their clash with Chelsea.
With just five points separating the top five clubs in the league table, Conte would know that there is no margin for error and he will be desperate to secure all three points against Middlesbrough.