By Alex Taylor
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stated that he will not instruct his players to antagonise Chelsea striker Diego Costa when the two teams meet on Friday.
Costa, 27, has developed a reputation as one of the most aggressive and ill-disciplined forwards in the Premier League.
Blues boss Antonio Conte has recently claimed defenders are setting out to incite Costa because of the player’s combustible nature.
“It is not part of my preparation [to provoke Costa],” Klopp told the Guardian. “I never said in my life to a team: ‘He’s always close to a red card, so do whatever you can so he gets it.’ Antonio has already created a good relationship with him, so he is completely different.”
Costa has received nine red cards throughout his career but only one of those has come during his time in west London.
Reds midfielder Jordan Henderson is currently level with Costa with the most yellow-cards after four games this season, 3.
No player has received a red card in England’s top-flight this term.
Klopp will be hoping his side can recreate the good form that helped them beat Arsenal 4-3 on the opening day of the season and guide the Mereysiders up the table.