Rumours in football can either create excitement or dread, depending on the nature of the specific rumour. Thankfully for Arsenal fans, this specific ‘rumour’ is a little bit more substantial than most, with Daily Mirror reporting that Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa may not be fit for their UEFA Europa League semi-final first-leg game against Arsenal. Yes, it’s the same Diego Costa that once played for Chelsea and was vilified for being the sport’s equivalent of a supervillain.
Costa was said to have picked up a hamstring problem, which has left Atletico in a bit of bother with just seven days remaining until they take on an Arsenal team who many believe possess the firepower necessary to make it past the Spaniards.
If you’re a neutral and you were hoping for maximum entertainment then you may be slightly disappointed by this news, because let’s face it, Costa would go out of his way to try and terrorise Arsenal in any which way possible. With that being said, there’s no guarantee that he won’t make some kind of appearance in either this game or the second leg, and Arsenal fans should probably take this news with a pinch of salt.
They’ve got their own issues to worry about as they attempt to string together a fully fit squad for their most important game of the season to date. It’s no secret that many people believe these are the two best remaining teams in the competition, and as such, a ticket to the final in Lyon would ensure that the winner would almost certainly be favourites to take hope the magnificent Europa League trophy and a guaranteed spot in the UEFA Champions League next season.
Switching back to the matter at hand, however, Costa’s injury was actually picked up in the Europa League itself during their narrow loss to Sporting Lisbon in the last round. He didn’t feature against Levante and will also miss out against Real Sociedad, but of course, there’s always a chance they’re just resting him up in order to ensure he’s at 100% or at least 90% against Arsenal.
Simeone, who has been tipped to replace Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager, will be hoping to make quite the impression on the North London club next week – one way or another.
Will Diego Costa be a game changer if he’s fit?