Chelsea without three for Champions League

Chelsea will be without Diego Costa, Ramires and Andre Schurrle for the Champions League game against Maribor, Sky Sports has reported.

The trio missed Saturday’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, with Schurrle struggling through illness and Ramires carrying a groin problem. The fitness of Costa has, meanwhile, been a long-running saga with Jose Mourinho questioning Spain’s handling of the international striker.

Costa is absent with a thigh injury but played a full part in both of La Roja’s Euro 2016 qualifiers, scoring his first goal for his adopted country in the process when he netted against Luxembourg. “He is not training because he is not in good condition to do it,” Mourinho said of Costa. “I don’t know [when he will return] but tomorrow [Tuesday], he cannot play.”

Mourinho added that he wasn’t resting Costa in order to preserve him for the weekend’s game against Manchester United, stressing that his focus was solely on the very next fixture. “Let’s see what happens for next weekend but [Manchester United] is not important, tomorrow is important and he can’t do it tomorrow,” the Portuguese continued. “I do not have Manchester United in mind, I have Maribor in mind. I don’t rest players.”

Chelsea go into the game top of Group G with four points from their opening two games. Maribor are second with two points, the same tally as Schalke, with Sporting bottom with a single point.

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