Diego Costa will miss Arsenal first-leg says Diego Simeone
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 21/04/18 6:33pm
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone says Diego Costa has "no chance" of being available for the first leg of the Europa League semi-final against Arsenal on Thursday.
The Spain international limped off with a hamstring injury against Sporting Lisbon in the quarter-finals and there were fears he could miss both legs of the tie against Arsenal.
But speaking ahead of Atletico's game against Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday, Simeone suggested the 29-year-old will only miss the first leg at the Emirates.
"The doctors will inform us but I think it won't be possible for him to be ready for Thursday's game, he said. "He will be [available] for sure in the return leg, but I think he has no chance to be [fit] for the first leg game."
Simeone denied that he already has one eye on the semi-final against Arsenal and insisted he would be fielding a side capable of beating Real Betis, who are fifth in the table.
"We will try to do our best as usual, for us the most important game now is tomorrow's game, I will use the ones I think they can win the game.
The Argentinian was asked if his players may be distracted by the midweek trip to London.
"I'm not inside their heads but I know my players and they always try to do their best," he added.
Arsenal are also in action on Sunday with West Ham visiting the Emirates live on Sky Sports.
It is Arsenal's first game since Arsene Wenger announced he would be stepping down as manager at the end of the season.