Chelsea will be without the talismanic Diego Costa for Saturday’s title showdown with Manchester City after he was slapped with a three-match ban for violent conduct.
The Spain international will serve a three-match ban for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg on Tuesday.
The £32m signing from Atletico Madrid denied the charge, but disciplinary action has been taken after the FA reviewed video footage of the incident, which was not seen by the match officials.
Jose Mourinho has accused members of the press of ‘campaigning’ against Costa and has thus cancelled his pre-match press conference scheduled for this afternoon.
The Blues boss will also be without his 17-goal top scorer for the Premier League games against Aston Villa and Everton.
Stamford Bridge favourite Didier Drogba, 36, is expected to lead Chelsea’s attack in the absence of Costa when the champions visit London, hoping to reduce the five-point gap at the top of the table.