Chelsea striker Diego Costa to contest violent conduct charge

Diego Costa will contest his violent conduct charge with the full backing of Chelsea as the Barclays Premier League leaders make a stand against what Jose Mourinho believes is an orchestrated campaign against his team.

Costa faces a three-match ban after referee Michael Oliver admitted he had not seen the incident when he appeared to stamp on Liverpool's Emre Can during Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge and set the Football Association's disciplinary process in motion.

Chelsea's 17-goal top scorer had to respond before 6pm on Thursday to the charge and, as he has chosen to contest it, the case will be passed to an independent commission to decide on Friday.

The Blues insist that the incident was 'accidental' with Mourinho fiercely defending his star striker after the match.

The commission will look at video footage, the observations of the referee Oliver and consider written and video evidence on behalf of Costa, who will miss games against Manchester City, Aston Villa and Everton if found guilty.

It will be a surprise if he escapes punishment, but Costa, Mourinho and others at the club have been incensed by the charge and are determined to fight it.

Mourinho is in full siege mode ahead of the title clash with champions City at Stamford Bridge, on Saturday, claiming there is an anti-Chelsea agenda fuelled by Sky.

Chelsea have also cancelled the manager's usual eve-of-game press conference, which will prompt another letter from the Premier League to seek an explanation for breaking their rules on mandatory media duties.

Credit: Matt Barlow/SportsMail