Can Chelsea's Diego Costa find his scoring boots vs Bournemouth?

Costa Flag - Chelsea

A look at Diego Costa's first 19 Premier League games versus his last 18.

Chelsea have made a woeful effort of their Premier League title defence, virtually out of the running before Christmas and with a top four finish looking like a struggle right now.

Defensively a shambles and not much better in attack, Diego Costa's performances perhaps summarise the struggles that Jose Mourinho and his side have had this season.

The Spanish international hit the ground running last season following his big-money move from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, scoring with his first shot on target in the Premier League and in each of his first three appearances in the English top flight, including a hat-trick versus Swansea City.

In fact, Diego Costa scored 17 goals in his first 19 Premier League appearances before his goals started to dry up in the final four months of the season and ended up finishing behind both Sergio Agüero and Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.

Costa appears to have lost his finishing touch since his brace at Swansea in January. The Blues striker was averaging 1.74 shots on target per game up until that point, but has averaged less than a single shot on target per game in his 18 subsequent matches (0.68).  He has scored only six goals in his last 18 Premier League appearances.

The table below shows Diego's Costa Premier League matches from last season. Notice the difference in the last two columns pre-February and post-February - his shots on target and goals:

DateOpponentMinutes PlayedShotsShots on TargetGoals
18/08/2014 Burnley (away) 90 2 1 1
23/08/2014 Leicester 80 3 1 1
13/09/2014 Swansea 72 5 4 3
21/09/2014 Manchester City (away) 86 2 1 0
27/09/2014 Aston Villa 81 5 4 1
05/10/2014 Arsenal 90 1 1 1
01/11/2014 QPR 78 1 0 0
08/11/2014 Liverpool (away) 89 5 2 1
22/11/2014 West Brom 84 4 3 1
29/11/2014 Sunderland (away) 76 2 0 0
06/12/2014 Newcastle (away) 90 5 2 0
13/12/2014 Hull City 90 3 1 1
22/12/2014 Stoke City (away) 85 3 1 0
26/12/2014 West Ham 83 6 1 1
28/12/2014 Southampton (away) 89 1 0 0
30/12/2014 Everton (away) 90 4 4 2
01/01/2015 Tottenham (away) 90 3 2 1
10/01/2015 Newcastle 84 3 3 1
17/01/2015 Swansea (away) 75 3 2 2
21/02/2015 Burnley 90 2 1 0
04/03/2015 West Ham (away) 89 2 0 0
15/03/2015 Southampton 90 7 1 1
22/03/2015 Hull City (away) 75 3 1 1
04/04/2015 Stoke City 12 0 0 0
18/05/2015 West Brom (away) 64 0 0 0
24/05/2015 Sunderland 60 1 1 1

Diego Costa's latter season form has continued into the 2015-16 campaign as the Spaniard has failed to get in many goalscoring positions. Arguably, Eden Hazard and Chelsea have been well below par this season:

DateOpponentMinutes PlayedShotsShots on TargetGoals
08/08/2015 Swansea 90 1 1 0
16/08/2015 Man City (away) 90 1 0 0
23/08/2015 West Brom (away) 78 4 1 1
29/08/2015 Crystal Palace 90 2 1 0
12/09/2015 Everton (away) 90 1 0 0
19/09/2015 Arsenal 82 2 1 0
17/10/2015 Aston Villa 90 2 2 1
24/10/2015 West Ham (away) 90 2 0 0
31/10/2015 Liverpool 90 1 0 0
07/11/2015 Stoke (away) 90 2 1 0
21/11/2015 Norwich 90 5 2 1

Chelsea host a struggling Bournemouth side this evening with the Cherries starting the weekend inside the relegation zone and recently having shipped five goals against both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, three goals against Everton last weekend and two goals against both Southampton and Swansea City last month. Is this the weekend Diego Costa finds his shooting boots?

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch