London, Dec 21 (IANS) Capital football club Chelsea's defender Nemanja Matic is hoping that young striker Michy Batshuayi will deliver in the absence of suspended Diego Costa, when they face Bournemouth in the English Premier League (EPL) on December 26.
League leaders Chelsea will be without the suspended duo of striker Costa and midfielder N'Golo Kante for the match. Both the players have played every EPL game this season. But for Bournemouth, head coach Antonio Conte will have to change his starting XI.
Belgian international Batshuayi is yet to start in an EPL league game since moving to Chelsea from Marseille in the summer. But Matic believes the 23-year-old is more than capable of leading their attack in the absence of Costa, who has fired 13 goals in the league so far.
"He is a great player, he works very hard every day and has a lot of quality for sure," Matic told chelseafc.com on Tuesday.
"We won't have Diego against Bournemouth but I hope Michy will be the man to decide the game. If he does that it will be good for us. He is a great striker, for sure, that is why Chelsea bought him. I'm sure if he gets a chance to score in the next game, he'll take it."
The seasoned Serbian also felt that Batshuayi's overall game will only have improved having trained with Spaniard Costa on a daily basis.
"Of course he has benefited from working with him,' said the Serbian. "It was the same with me seven years ago. It was very good for me to see how Frank Lampard played, how Michael Ballack played and Michael Essien.
"So it is good for Michy and a good experience for him to see Diego's movement."
Asked how they will cope with such a situation in the absence of two key players, he said: "We have to cope with that, you have situations like this during the season, but other teams also have their problems.
"Of course, they are both important players for us but the next game we play is at home and we have to do our best to get three points," Matic added.
"Everyone is important in football because you never know who is going to play the next game. I'm happy because in training you can see every player is physically ready."
pur/bgPublished 21 Dec 2016, 17:29 IST