After a summer in Brazilian exile (not a bad place to spend an extended break to be honest), Diego Costa should soon end his long running transfer saga with a return to his former club Atletico Madrid very soon.
Things could have been oh-so-different of course had Chelsea boss Antonio Conte not tried to dump him like a bad Tinder date via text message in June and we could have seen the Spanish striker line-up in blue at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Instead he’ll have to wait until at least January to make La Liga defenders feel the wrath of El B***ardo and that’s only if Atletico can get their transfer ban lifted.
You can expect his name to feature heavily on Wednesday night as the two clubs meet and ahead of the ‘Costa derby’ we’ve pulled out a top trio of bets for you to go in with both feet on.
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea to draw – 21/10
Even though Chelsea have been in the goals of late, both sides nearly seem to relish a clean sheet as much as putting them in at the other end.
Diego Simeone and his Chelsea counterpart Conte are more defensive than Piers Morgan is with Twitter trolls, so expect a caged affair on Wednesday.
While kneeling in protest might be in the news these days, we don’t expect either to bow and the 21/10 draw look like a cracking punt.
Chelsea to keep a clean sheet – 12/5
Ever since an opening day, summer hangover that saw nine-man Chelsea ship three at home in a loss to Burnley. Antonio Conte has locked that problem down quicker then he could hit send on a text mess… you get the idea.
The Blues have only conceded a further three goals in the seven games – in all competitions – since that faithful day and that figure includes four clean sheets as well.
You get the feeling Conte’s men would be happy with a point from Madrid and with the defence unit starting to tick like the 2016 model, a second blank on Thibaut Courtois’ scorecard could be the value play at 12/5.
Correct score: 0-0 – 13/2
Yes, we know it’s as boring a call as listening to Cesc Fàbregas speak, but Atletico are no slouches themselves when it comes to keeping it tight at the back.
Simeone charges have held the opposition scoreless in four of their last five outings and you know their Argentine boss was buying the cervezas after with that kind of record.
After tipping the draw, we feel like a little more sizzle on our steak and with all the stats pointing to a 0-0 draw, we’re going to tuck into that bet at 13/2.