Another season, another Chelsea striker crisis – well sort of.
Ahead of the trip to Old Trafford, the Blues are looking a little bit thin on the ground when it comes to their forwards after an injury to Loic Remy and the sheer audacity of the Spanish national side wanting to play their main forward, Diego Costa for nearly two full games and subsequently aggravating his dodgy hamstrings, meaning Jose Mourinho is down to his old Drog.
The 36 year old may have to lead the line against Manchester United on Sunday but after netting his first goal since that penalty in Munich before leaving the Blues, there looks like being life in the old Drog yet.
Or so both he and Mourinho would tell you.
The reality is a little bit different, with Drogba actually scoring from the spot after Eden Hazard handed him the chance to do so – and putting the ball into the bottom left hand corner. Obviously.
Now whilst he may still be able to score spot kicks, he does not really look like being able to do very much else – and certainly not what the likes of Diego Costa and Remy can do when leading the line.
Drogba’s best days have come and gone, and no matter how much Mourinho wants to harp on about match fitness, it has been clear to see that Drogba no longer holds the ball up like he once did, cannot turn defenders and does not really have the same shooting boots -although against this Manchester United defence, he might just get some glory.
Chelsea went through last season learning to rely on their wingers and midfielders for goals and the game against Crystal Palace showed they are able to do exactly that with Oscar and the ever important Cesc Fabregas getting in on the goals.
This season, Chelsea are a vastly different prospect from last time out, and forwards aside, they are more potent in attack. Eden Hazard may be left wanting when it comes to excelling for a full 90 minutes or trying to help the team by defending, but he certainly creates moments of magic and in all Chelsea’s ‘six pointers’ so far, he has been the one to create the spark, the difference and usually, the points.
This will have to be the case again on Sunday if both Costa and Remy fail to make the starting eleven – although against both Arsenal and Manchester City, Costa did start and yet it was Hazard who really shone.
Jose Mourinho will know only too well that United may be struggling at the minute but as always, with the big games, they pick themselves up a gear. With the likes of Angel Di Maria, who Mourinho knows well, and Radamel Falcao added to their attack, United have more than enough firepower – ironically the one thing Chelsea could well be lacking.
United meanwhile would give pretty much anything for the defence Chelsea possess and will have to be at their very best to break it down on Sunday.
Louis van Gaal may have home advantage and all the forwards he could wish for at his disposal, but Mourinho’s Chelsea are a force to be reckoned with this season – Costa or not.
Chelsea fans. Do you think a lack of forwards will be your undoing again or will Costa miraculously declare himself fit? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.