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Thursday Kickoff: Chelsea lose Costa for Man United clash; Pogba extension imminent; and more

DiegoCostaChelsea1-Arsenal2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Chelsea will likely be without their top scorer on Sunday when they face Manchester United.

Diego Costa is on the verge of being ruled out of the highly-anticipated matchup in Old Trafford with a groin injury, adding to his already long-term hamstring injury that he’s struggled to overcome. In addition, Costa was briefly hospitalized last week with a severe “stomach bug,” and hasn’t trained regularly since then.

The 26-year-old has scored nine goals in seven English Premier League games this season, but he has missed Chelsea’s last two games, at Crystal Palace and against Maribor in the UEFA Champions League with injury.

The most recent groin problem has reportedly left manager Jose Mourinho fuming, because he feels Costa was misused while on international duty with Spain.

Without Costa, Chelsea will likely go with either Didier Drogba, who is dealing with match fitness issues, or Andre Schurrle, who is coming back from flu-like symptoms. Loic Remy is unlikely to play after departing early in Chelsea’s 7-1 thrashing of Maribor with a groin injury.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Thursday:

POGBA SET TO SIGN NEW CONTRACT WITH JUVENTUS

The long-awaited contract renewal between Juventus and star midfielder Paul Pogba has reached its final stage.

According to reports in Italy, the French international will sign a new contract worth €4.5 million per season before bonuses through June 2018, with an option to extend through 2019. Pogba is high on many club’s transfer wish lists, but his extension to becoming one of the team’s highest-paid players is a sign that Juventus are willing to pay big bucks to keep one of their most talented players.

Since joining Juventus in 2012, Pogba has blossomed into one of the best midfielders in the world, helping Juventus to three straight Serie A titles and starting for both France U-20 and the French National Team at the 2013 U-20 World Cup and the 2014 World Cup. This season, Pogba has played in nine games in all competitions, with one goal scored.

QUICK KICKS

UEFA has come to an agreement to pay each host city for the Euro 2020 tournament €20 million. (REPORT)

Sporting CP have lodged a complaint with UEFA, asking for a rematch with Schalke 04 after a controversial penalty kick lead to a Schalke victory. (REPORT)

Dimitar Berbatov will miss the next three weeks after suffering a thigh injury during Monaco’s scoreless draw on Wednesday with Benfica. (REPORT)

The FA have charged Crystal Palace head coach Neil Warnock with misconduct after he criticized the match officials following Palace’s loss to Chelsea. (REPORT)

UEFA are investigating racism allegations against fans of BATE Borisov for their conduct during Shakhtar Donetsk’s 7-0 victory on Tuesday. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Chelsea winning on the road without Costa? Does Mourinho have a right to be upset? What do you think of Pogba’s Juventus contract?

Share your thoughts below.

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