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Should Chelsea cash in on wantaway Costa?


Chelsea striker Diego Costa will face Stoke as John Terry targets PSG

LONDON -- Guus Hiddink says Diego Costa will not be rested against Stoke City, but injured captain John Terry will not be available.

On Monday, Hiddink suggested that Costa might be rested for one of Chelsea's next two Premier League matches in order to keep him fit for the Champions League clash with PSG on Wednesday, when the Blues will look to overturn a one-goal deficit. 

Costa then played the full 90 minutes of the 2-1 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road on Tuesday and scored the winning goal, giving rise to speculation that he would be taken out of Hiddink's starting XI for the visit of Stoke to Stamford Bridge.

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But while he says that Costa may not finish the match, Hiddink says the Spain international's fierce desire to play in every game makes him reluctant to take his first-choice striker out of his lineup.

"It's difficult to put a brake on him," Hiddink said. "Maybe he won't have a full game because we go also with the data of the medics and physiologists. He is in perfect physical shape but we must be careful not to overload him in games. He is difficult to stop.

"He wants to play every game but I must be careful with that. Tomorrow he will start. Who am I to stop this man?"

Costa has been a rejuvenated figure since Hiddink succeeded Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge in December, registering 10 goals and six assists in 14 matches in all competitions to spearhead Chelsea's charge up the Premier League table and progress to the FA Cup quarterfinals.

Hiddink is wary of putting too much of a burden on Costa, and insisted he will not hesitate to convince the Spain international to sit out matches when necessary.

Diego Costa is the only fit frontline striker available to Guus Hiddink.

"We are a bit emotional but sometimes you can be rational as well," he added. "I talk with him about his physical state, which is superb, but also that there's always a danger of going over. If I share the figures with him he can be rational also. I let him go but sometimes you have to put on the leash."

One player who will not feature against Stoke is Terry. The 35-year-old has missed Chelsea's last four matches with a hamstring injury sustained during a 5-1 win over Newcastle last month and Hiddink is determined not to rush his captain back from a significant injury.

Terry hinted that he could make the Chelsea substitutes' bench against Stoke as he accepted an Outstanding Contribution prize at the London Football Awards on Thursday, but Hiddink dismissed the suggestion when it was raised.

"I don't think [he can be involved against Stoke] because then we have to have rather intense training with this kind of injury," Hiddink insisted. "It's too much of a risk."

Hiddink revealed that Terry will likely take part in a specially arranged six-a-side game at Cobham on Monday in an attempt to prove his fitness.

Asked whether his captain has chance to start against PSG, the Dutchman replied: "It depends on how he is in training on Monday. He's also a little bit restless in an injury time. Some players like to rest and take their time but he has big ambition. I will not take any risks with him."

Pedro will also miss the Stoke game as he is still working with physios and training individually following a hamstring injury.

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.


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