Diego Costa has returned to form since Guus Hiddink was appointed manager

By Dominic Toner

Phil Thompson believes that Liverpool will find it difficult to contend with Diego Costa in Friday’s Premier League showdown.

The Reds travel to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea and the Spanish forward has been in outstanding form at the start of the season.

The Premier League fixture is always a fiery encounter and Costa is likely to be the centre of attention.

The 27-year-old has been involved in a series of flashpoints due to his temperamental personality in recent years but he remains a major goal threat and has already struck four times in Chelsea’s four league matches this season.

Sky Sports pundit and Liverpool great Thompson believes that Costa will be a handful for the Liverpool defence.

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“Diego Costa seems to have got his mojo back,” he told Sky Sports. “You would love him at your football club. It’s like Luis Suarez, everyone hated him but we loved him at Liverpool.

“I think he is fantastic. Yes, he goes over that line quite often but he does bring something special to that side.”

Many people have compared Costa to former Liverpool man Luis Suarez, who equally had his own share of controversial moments.

The pair are undoubtedly natural goal scorers though and Costa scored a fantastic brace in a 2-2 draw with Swansea on Sunday, including a brilliant over-head kick.

Liverpool will be hopeful that first-choice defender Dejan Lovren will return from his eye injury for the match in place of make-shift centre-back Lucas.

The Brazilian midfielder delivered a steady display in a less familiar role but did gift Jamie Vardy a cheap goal in the 4-1 win over Leicester.

The return of the more physical Lovren could be the perfect fit to play against Costa and partner new signing Joel Matip.

Chelsea have been dealt a blow for the Liverpool fixture as John Terry was ruled out for 10 days with stained ligaments in his foot.

In other Liverpool team news, they have been handed a midfielder boost ahead of the Chelsea showdown.