Blanc warns of Costa physicality

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March 11, 2015 08:14:27 UK

Laurent Blanc has told his Paris St Germain team not to get drawn into a physical battle with Chelsea striker Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening.

The Spain international was a menace for much of the 1-1 draw in the French capital in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie and Blanc is aware that his defenders need to stay calm, with Costa having failed to find the net in his last six outings.

The centre-backs playing around him have to be effective in stopping him.

Laurent Blanc

Blanc told reporters: “He’s a boy who loves the contact, loves the duels and is very suited to the English game. He likes the challenge, the contact and provoking opposition players.

“That’s something he needs. He thrives off that. It’s important not to get caught up in that.

“The centre-backs playing around him have to be effective in stopping him. He’s got good physicality, is technically good, but he tries to provoke a reaction – always.

“Away from home, we have to be as effective as possible in trying to stop him.”

Costa has netted 17 Premier League goals for Chelsea since his big-money summer move from Atletico Madrid, but has yet to find the target in the Champions League.

The 26-year-old can be backed at 2.40 to score at any time on Wednesday and is 5.00 to be the first goalscorer in the game, while he is 3.10 to be the first goalscorer for his team.

The hosts on Wednesday will welcome Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic back into the fold after a domestic suspension saw him miss the Capital One Cup final win over Spurs at Wembley.

PSG, meanwhile, have former Newcastle United man Yohan Cabaye back in contention after injury, but Serge Aurier, Mory Diaw, Lucas Moura all miss out.

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