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Warnock: I won't worry about Blues


Palace boss Neil Warnock, pictured, believes Chelsea striker Diego Costa is unstoppable

Palace boss Neil Warnock, pictured, believes Chelsea striker Diego Costa is unstoppable

Palace boss Neil Warnock, pictured, believes Chelsea striker Diego Costa is unstoppable

Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock refuses to think about Chelsea's array of attacking players as it would cause him sleepless nights.

Palace host the Barclays Premier League pacesetters at Selhurst Park on Saturday, with Warnock claiming Chelsea are capable of emulating Arsenal's 'Invincibles' by completing the season unbeaten.

The arrival of £32million striker Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid has provided Chelsea with the goals that were missing last season - the Spaniard has fired nine in nine appearances - but Warnock believes danger lurks throughout their team.

"I don't think you can stop Diego Costa," Warnock said.

"And you can talk about Costa but there is also Eden Hazard, Oscar - you name it, they are all top-class players.

"There's Cesc Fabregas and the unsung heroes. But we worry about our players not theirs.

"If you think about their players too much, you wouldn't sleep."

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Warnock is refusing to wave the white flag as he plots a famous victory inspired by Stoke's 1-0 victory at Manchester City on August 30.

Palace also beat Chelsea in the corresponding fixture last season, dealing a huge late-season blow to the Blues' title hopes.

"This is the type of league where there's always a chance. We are 7/1 apparently. But there is always an opportunity," Warnock said.

"We know we are going to be under the cosh, but every team that plays against Chelsea in the bottom half of the table is under the cosh.

"It is can we be disciplined enough? Can we create enough on the day?

"You just have to concentrate on trying to get your own players up for the game and not show too many weaknesses.

"That is what we have been trying to do this week and hopefully that comes off. Look at Stoke - they beat Man City away.

"I don't think there is a club we can't beat in the Premier League and that's the same for every team in the Premier League. Results are possible everywhere."

Jose Mourinho has sarcastically accepted the criticism from Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert and assistant Roy Keane over the Chelsea manager's handshake towards the end of their Premier League clash last month.

Lambert and Keane declined the Blues manager's offer of a handshake in the latter stages of Villa's 3-0 loss at Stamford Bridge on September 27, with both expressing their annoyance towards Mourinho in the last 10 days.

Keane, who labelled Mourinho's behaviour "disgraceful", was scathing in his criticism, saying: "The game is still going on. You wouldn't do that on a Sunday morning, you would get knocked out."

Lambert agreed when asked this week if he felt Mourinho was "disrespectful" by not waiting until the end of the match for the handshake.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea's Saturday match at Crystal Palace, Mourinho said: "First of all, I want to say that I appreciate the comments.

"I think they are both two great examples of polite and very well educated people and because I am a humble guy who tries to learn every day and with every experience, I appreciate the comments."

Asked if he would do it again, Mourinho responded "yes", before responding "no" when asked if he could understand why someone would be upset by his actions.

He refused to comment when asked to respond over suggestions the action was arrogant.

Mourinho refused to rake over old ground following Arsene Wenger's apology for the Arsenal manager's push on the Portuguese during Chelsea's most recent match, a 2-0 defeat of Arsenal on October 5.

"I have no reaction," Mourinho added.

"You had my reaction after the match, where I told you nothing happened, and you still had the reaction from the FA (Football Association), disciplinary committees, all of them, that that nothing happened."

Chelsea have a number of fitness concerns ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park.

Costa, Ramires (groin), Didier Drogba (ankle), Andre Schurrle (illness) and John Obi Mikel (undisclosed) will be assessed prior to the match.

Costa's fragile hamstrings have been the subject of much debate, but it is unclear what the latest issue is.

The £32million signing from Atletico Madrid, who has scored nine goals in seven Premier League games, reported to Chelsea's Surrey training base on Monday morning despite having been told to take two days off and return to training on Wednesday afternoon.

"The Spanish team played in Luxembourg on Sunday," Mourinho said.

"I gave them - Diego, (Cesc) Fabregas and (Cesar) Azpilicueta - two days off.

"Monday and Tuesday off, so they had to report to train Wednesday at 3pm and Diego was here Monday at 9am.

"So you can imagine how strong he was to be here Monday at 9am."

Asked if Costa was reporting for treatment, Mourinho said: "No comments."

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