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DIEGO COSTA is a major doubt to face Arsenal in the Europa League after Atletico Madrid confirmed his hamstring injury.
Atletico and Arsenal were picked together in yesterday’s draw for the Europa League semi-finals.
The Gunners will host their Spanish opponents on April 26 before the second leg at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on May 3.
And Atletico’s star striker Costa could be forced to miss the clash.
Costa was taken off early in the second half against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday as his side booked their place in the last four of the competition the Europa League with a 2-1 aggregate victory.
The La Liga giants have now confirmed that the 29-year-old had suffered ‘a hamstring injury to his left leg’.
The Spain international underwent tests in Madrid yesterday but the length of the layoff was not determined in the club’s statement.
But Costa faces a race against time to face Arsenal, who he enjoyed a fine record against during his time at Chelsea.
Costa’s absence would be good news for the Gunners who face a huge task to reach the final.
Despite the Spaniards being clear favourites, Guillem Balague insists they still have weaknesses that Arsenal can exploit.
”It’s a shame Arsenal and Atletico are meeting now, it would have been nice to see them in the final,” Balague said.
“Arsenal are going to face one of the best teams in knock-out competitions in the world. With what they have, they tend to do very well in knock-out competitions.
“But they have weaknesses as well.
In the past going a goal up would have been guarantee of victory, but they have dropped points after going ahead, they are less impressive from set-pieces in both boxes, and showed against Sporting that now the squad has become smaller, players are becoming affected by injuries and tiredness.
“They go to Levante this weekend with only 13 players from the first-team at a crucial part of the season where you have to be sharp with players in front of goal
“They may struggle with it. There are angles Arsenal can be positive about.”