Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has positive news about Eden Hazard and Diego Costa

Chelsea's Eden Hazard could face Arsenal
Chelsea's Eden Hazard could face Arsenal

Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are in contention to play for Chelsea at Arsenal after returning to training following injury.

Playmaker Hazard has missed the last three matches with a groin injury sustained at Crystal Palace, while striker Costa sustained a bruised shin in last Saturday’s last-gasp draw with Everton.

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink said: “The last two days he (Hazard) was in full commitment with first-team training, so he is available.

“We have to be careful, because he has fallen into some injuries recently.

“I’m not sure whether he can play a full 90 minutes yet. We have to consider whether it’s best (for him) to start or to come in.”

Costa had scans immediately after the draw with Everton, with the results showing no fracture and just bruising.

The Brazil-born Spain striker returned to training on Thursday.

Hiddink added: “He (Costa) was in yesterday. He was in today. So he will be available as well.”

Costa was chief antagonist in September’s clash at Stamford Bridge, which Chelsea won 2-0 to extend their unbeaten Premier League run against the Gunners to eight games.

Jose Mourinho lauded his performance, while Arsene Wenger described his behaviour as “unacceptable”.

The striker riled Gabriel so much the Gunners defender was sent off, but Costa was retrospectively banned for three games by the Football Association for grappling with Laurent Koscielny in the same game.

“That’s the past,” Hiddink said. “I haven’t seen the images.”

Hiddink told Costa to focus on playing football.

“I cannot guarantee, because we’re not dealing with machines, we’re dealing with human beings, but when he is focusing on where he’s good at, around the box, then he’s of big worth,” the Dutchman added.

Hiddink has not spoken to Costa specifically about his temperament.

“I don’t have any complaints about his discipline,” Hiddink said.

Hiddink concedes the rivalry is lessened by the Blues’ lowly 14th place in the Premier League, 19 points behind their derby opponents.

Asked whether the level of the rivalry remains, Hiddink said: “Not at this moment, not in this league. Arsenal are doing very well and making a good battle for first position.”