By Harvey Byrne
Former Premier League defender Danny Higginbotham has warned Arsenal duo Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi not to let Chelsea forward Diego Costa touch them during the match.
The former Southampton defender now turned football pundit has warned the Gunners pair about the 27-year-old Spain international before the London clash at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Higginbotham referred to the fact that Costa likes to feel the defender when going up against them, while he also recalled Gabriel’s sending off in the fixture last season after being wound up by the controversial Chelsea striker.
“If Costa can’t wind you up, he turns it on himself,” wrote Sky Sports pundit Higginbotham in his Sun column. “His mind goes off the game. So the first thing I’d say to Arsenal defenders Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny is whenever you are up against Costa, don’t let him touch you — don’t let him feel you.
“If he feels you, he knows which way to turn. You have to keep him guessing.
“Last season Gunners centre-half Gabriel got sent off when Costa wound him up and he reacted.”
Costa has started the season in impressive form, scoring five goals in six appearances for Antonio Conte’s side.
The Blues are currently sat in fifth place with 10 points from their opening five fixtures and they will be keen to keep their run going.
Meanwhile, Arsenal sit in fourth, level on points with Chelsea, boasting a one goal better goal difference.
The Gunners will be fully aware of the threat Costa possesses to their defence with the striker scoring the deciding goal in a 1-0 victory for Chelsea in the previous encounter.