Antonio Conte said he is not worried about the potential ban Diego Costa could receive in the 2016/17 Premier League.
As Chelsea gear up for their home game against Liverpool on 16 September, the focus will be on tempestuous Costa, who is two yellow cards away from being suspended. The Spaniard opened the ongoing season collecting two yellow cards, one each in the games against West Ham United and Watford for showing dissent.
Costa saved the blushes for Chelsea against Swansea City on Sunday with a brace but was again under the spotlight for his clumsy approach. After being booked once in the match for a rough challenge against the visitors' centre-back Federico Fernandez, the 27-year-old was fortunate to not get a red card when it looked like he deliberately went to ground in the second half.
However, Costa has been in good goal-scoring form for The Blues netting four times in as many matches. He will be Conte's go-to-man against Jurgen Klopp's side, which will make a bid to stop Chelsea's unbeaten league run on Friday at Stamford Bridge.
"Diego Costa is on three yellow cards and he is two cards away from a ban. But I am not too worried about this," Conte was quoted as saying by Goal.com.
"Diego is still growing in this area. He showed a great attitude in our last game [against Swansea City] in a difficult situation. Diego is a passionate man and I want him to put this passion in his game in the right way. And he is doing just this.
"It is hard to tell your players that they have to pay attention because they risk a ban. Diego is aware of this. It is important for him not to get booked for strange situations."
The in-form striker also received praise from the Liverpool boss. Klopp maintained that he has not asked his men to instigate Costa but wanted The Reds to be aggressive against him.
Also, in the absence of injured John Terry, David Luiz will get an opportunity to make his second debut for The Blues on Friday. The Brazilian centre back cannot afford to waste any time as he will up against an in-form Merseyside attack, that had dismantled champions Leicester City 4-1 in their previous outing.
"David Luiz will play for the first time with us and we are confident about this. We expect him to play very well, with great attention. We know David is a good player and we are working to put him in the best condition to give us the best of him," Conte spoke of his £34m deadline-day signing, as quoted by Daily Mail Online.