Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink says he is struggling to keep Diego Costa on a leash, with the Chelsea striker demanding not to be dropped.
The Spanish international is expected to will start against Stoke — his 36th appearance in all competitions this season after Hiddink had contemplated resting him at Norwich on Tuesday.
But the Chelsea boss left him on the pitch for the full 90 minutes at Carrow Road, scoring his 10th goal since Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho in December — and it turned out to be the winner.
Chelsea could still crash the Champions League party thanks to Costa, but Hiddink knows he has to try to save the striker from himself.
“It’s difficult to put a brake on him. He’s in perfect physical shape but he must be careful not to overload.
“He is difficult to stop. He wants to play every game. I must be careful with that but he will start against Stoke. Who am I to stop this man?
“I talk with him about his physical state which is superb. There is always a danger of overdoing it. We must let him go but sometimes I have to put him on a leash.” Hiddink said as quoted on the Daily Mail.
The Potters’ most recent visit to Stamford Bridge in early April is chiefly remembered for the visitors’ equaliser rather than the vital victory achieved by the title-chasing Blues.
It looked like a routine victory was on the cards when Eden Hazard stepped up for a 39th-minute spot-kick. Our first penalty award for five months came after Philipp Wollscheid fouled Cesc Fabregas in the box, and Hazard put his kick past future Blues goalie Asmir Begovic.