Arsene Wenger admits that Arsenal must find a way to shackle Chelsea’s “killer” striker Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge.
The Gunners head to the scene of last season’s 6-0 thrashing today, where they will attempt to derail the Premier League leaders, who have already scored 19 goals this season.
Costa, a £32m summer signing from Atletico Madrid, has contributed eight goals himself, and Wenger is fully aware of the threat posed by the Spaniard.
“He has done fantastically well,” the Frenchman said.
“He has all the aspects of a striker that you like – he is focused, always determined and ready for a fight.
“He has also got players who can feed him like (Cesc) Fabregas and Eden Hazard, who can find him with final balls.
“Costa is a very efficient player. The timing of his runs and his determination, his killing determination – you feel he is a killer, he has that in him (when in front of goal).”
Arsenal, like Chelsea, are yet to suffer a defeat in the league and head to west London with plenty of confidence after the midweek 4-1 mauling of Galatasaray in the Champions League.
Wenger respects the ruthless hosts, who dispatched Aston Villa 3-0 at home last weekend, but urged his players to maintain a positive attacking approach.
“You have to find a balance between nullifying their strengths, but without forgetting to express your strengths,” he said.
“It is very important that we focus and concentrate on us having a great determination, a great desire and a great hunger to have a great performance, and focus on our performance and the way we want to play.”
Danny Welbeck has thrived in his preferred role for the Gunners, scoring a hat-trick against the Turkish side, and his manager feels he can display similar strengths to Costa.
“Danny is 23 years old. The fact that he plays regularly in the Premier League now, in his (central) position, means he is improving game by game, is adding to his game and that is very positive,” Wenger said.