Chelsea will be without their Spanish attacker Pedro for the Premier League tie against Stoke City this weekend.
Pedro, who was given a place in Conte’s beginning line-up in the absence of Costa for the Boxing Day match against Bournemouth, scored the opening and the third goal against Eddie Howe’s team but later received a booking to rule him out of the match.It was the Chelsea attacker’s fifth yellow of the season which will rule him out for one game. Pedro stumbled Brad Smith during the match which eventually made official Mike Jones to show him the warning.
Diego Costa’s absence of one match implied Conte was compelled to reshuffle his forward line with Michy Batshuayi expecting to make his first start since his move from French outlet Marseille however, the Italian disappointed the Belgian and opted to choose the former Barcelona forward Pedro in his centre striker role saying that the 23-year-old still has to do a lot of work to cement his spot in the starting line-up. The Spanish international did not disappoint his manager and gave a man of the match performance scoring two goals to take them at the top of the Premier league table. It was now Chelsea’s record-breaking 12 win in a row and in this way they could easily break all-time Premier League record of consecutive 14 league wins made by Arsenal across the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.
Chelsea boss praised the team’s attitude and insisted he is happy with his current team’s performance. He said after the match: “It wasn’t easy. This game was very tough. I’m pleased because it isn’t easy to win 12 in a row. The players deserved this. They are showing me great focus, concentration, attitude and behaviour.”
Chelsea will face Stoke City in this weekend at Stamford Bridge where both their star man Diego Costa and N’golo kante will return to action after the one-match ban served on Boxing day and will be hopeful to edge ever closer to make the Premier Winning run and record intact.