West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna has warned Chelsea striker Diego Costa the Hammers are well equipped to deal with any of the Spaniard’s antics ahead of the meeting between the two sides in the EFL Cup on Wednesday evening.
According to reports from the Mirror, Ogbonna is keen to prove his side can keep the Chelsea striker quiet at the London Stadium following Costa’s late winner against West Ham earlier this season in the Premier League.
The Blues forward also wound up several West Ham players that day, receiving a yellow card for a poor challenge on Hammers keeper Adrian.
“We know Costa,” said the 28-year-old. “Every time we play him we have to be careful.
“Sometimes if we do something as defenders, it’s bigger than it is if a striker does it. A striker can do whatever he wants. A defender has to be careful, maybe clever. This is the game. I think whoever is more clever can win!
“We’ve played him already. Everybody knows Costa. He has a high behaviour. On the pitch, he tries to make something to change the game.”
Costa has been in superb form this campaign, netting seven league goals in nine appearances and the Spanish international will look to find the net once again against the Hammers.
West Ham will be looking to make it three wins on the bounce after a poor run of form, which saw them lose four league games in a row, while the Blues are looking unstoppable at the minute, winning their last three league games, including their emphatic 4-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.
Ogbonna is expecting Chelsea boss Antonio Conte to name a strong side on Wednesday. The Italian defender played under Conte at Juventus and he’s acknowledged the talent his former boss has at his disposal.
He added: “Costa is an international player, a good player. They have Hazard as well, we shouldn’t talk just about Costa. They also have Willian. Kante as well.
“Maybe they are going to change it a bit because they are playing in the cup and they have a lot of games. But we have to prepare like it’s the last game of the season.
West Ham’s Italian centre-back pointed out his side also carry a threat, with the likes of Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini able to cause problems in attacking areas, and Ogbonna is confident they can prove to be the difference against Chelsea.
He said, “We have good players too. The expectation is high. Everyone knows Dimi can change the match sometimes, but not just Dimi.
“Against Sunderland Reidy changed the match. Maybe Pedro Obiang. Maybe Manuel Lanzini. We are expecting Simone Zaza too. It is his turn.
“I have a really good relationship with Conte, but I have to put it to one side.”