Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged his players to stop ‘world class’ Diego Costa from performing when the Reds take on Chelsea on Friday.
Klopp takes his team to Stamford Bridge to face a Blues side that are still undefeated in the Premier League this season, with the in-form Costa leading the charge.
The Spaniard netted twice in the 2-2 draw with Swansea on Sunday to take his tally to four in four league games this term, and having also bagged a brace for Spain whilst on international duty, it appears Costa has rediscovered his form after a difficult time in Jose Mourinho’s last season in West London.
While Costa has his critics for his antics on the pitch and a reputation for playing the game on the edge, Klopp sees only a top talent his side need to stop, believing that fans of other clubs hating the striker is proof of his quality.
“He is world class and that is the best thing football fans can say about you. If other supporters love you it is not a good sign,” said Klopp ahead of their Friday night trip to the capital.
“He is a real warrior on the pitch, he uses his body all the time and that is a quality. He was nearly unstoppable against Swansea.”
The German manager also holds new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte in high regard.
The 47-year-old won three successive Serie A titles with Juventus from 2011 before going on to manage Italy.
He shares many similar traits with Klopp in terms of his enthusiasm and involvement on the touchline, and the technical area could be as lively a place as the pitch on Friday.
However, Klopp insists they should not be compared.
“I don’t know Antonio good enough to know why he is doing it – I know for myself and, as I’ve said a few times, it just happens to me,” he added.
“He looks quite emotional, even when they don’t score. Obviously he is involved in the game, but that’s not the most important thing.
“The very important thing is he is a great manager, something like the ‘Pep Guardiola of Juventus’ if you want.
“He created their special type of play and had a very successful time there and with the national team.
“It is quite impressive what he has done until now, but I don’t play against Antonio Conte.”