Costa will go into battle masked

Chelsea striker Diego Costa will wear a protective mask against Newcastle on Saturday evening after breaking his nose in training on Thursday.

The Spain international has flourished under new Blues boss Guus Hiddink, scoring seven goals in his last nine appearances for the west London club.

However, his participation in this weekend’s encounter at Stamford Bridge was cast into doubt after sustaining a blow to the face from Fikayo Tomori on the training pitch.

Hiddink, though, expects Costa to lead the line against the Magpies, with the Dutchman devoid of any other attacking options as Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao continue to struggle with injury, while new signing Alexandre Pato is lacking match fitness.

“Diego got his nose broken in a duel,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “It was one of the youngsters of the academy that we like to participate in our sessions.

“It was not a tough duel but he put his nose on the back of the head [of the other player] in the duel. He was very unlucky and his nose was broken.

“He will return [on Friday afternoon] because we will give him a mask. We’re a team with a lot of masks – a Zorro team! Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta], [Nemanja] Matic, now Diego.

“He will come back and do some light training in the afternoon because he must also know how he’s dealing with the form and fitting of the mask. Then he will come back to the hotel later.

“It was a very small incident, a duel, nothing, but it’s very fragile when you put your nose on the back of the head of a very young man. I think he will be available. We’ll see how he will react to a very light session this afternoon. I hope, I’m not sure but I think he will be.”

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