Hindustan Times (Lucknow)


- Reuters ■ sportsdesk@hindustant­imes.com

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said striker Diego Costa will start against Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday despite being left out of the Spain squad for this month’s internatio­nal matches because of persistent injuries.

On Friday, Costa, who has scored nine Premier League goals this season, was not selected in Spain’s squad for their matches against Belarus and World Cup winners Germany because of a pelvic injury.

Mourinho had been critical of Spain coach Vincent del Bosque’s decision to call Costa into his squad for last month’s games against Slovakia and Luxembourg because the Brazilian-born striker missed Chelsea’s next four matches as a result.

But speaking at a news conference on Friday, the Portuguese coach welcomed Spain’s decision to omit the powerful striker. “We think he is ready to start the match tomorrow,” Mourinho said. “In the 15 days (internatio­nal break) he can rest and work. It is fantastic news for us. I thank the Spain FA for the decision that they made.

Del Bosque also confirmed that giving Costa a rest would be beneficial for both club and country at this time.

“I have spoken to our doctors and those of Chelsea and I have decided to leave him out due to the situation with his pubis (pelvis),” he told a news conference.

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