Sunderland defender ready for biggest Chelsea test

Papy Djilobodji will be tasked with the biggest challenge of his career tomorrow night '“ keeping a tight rein on the Premier League's most potent player.

Tuesday, 13th December 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:43 pm
Papy Djolobodji

The in-form defender will be at the heart of a Sunderland back four who face Diego Costa at the Stadium of Light.

Costa is running riot for the Premier leaders.

Not only is he the top scorer in the division with 12, he has five assists, with his combined total of 17 also the best in the league.

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Costa, who scored the winner in Sunday’s 1-0 win over West Brom, is also a changed man in terms of his disciplinary record and is now seen as the complete striker.

There will be a big responsibility on his former Stamford Bridge colleague Djilobodji when he marks him tomorrow night.

But David Moyes, who paid £8million to Chelsea for his services, says the 28-year-old has made big strides since his testing start in the top flight.

“We think Papy is a good player but because of his lack of Premier League experience it means it’s going to take more time than it might someone else,” he said.

“We hope we can grow him into a good centre-half.”

Many thought he would not regain his place after he sat out the match at Liverpool, where John O’Shea came in and played well.

But Moyes recalled Djilobodji and the decision was vindicated.

“That’s what managers have to do, pick the team, but if it goes wrong we get blamed for it,” he smiled.