Former Chelsea hit-man included in 20-man Atletico Madrid squad to face Arsenal

The BBC understands Diego Costa has been named in Diego Simeone’s 20-man Atletico Madrid squad which will square up to Arsenal on Thursday in the first-leg of the Europa League semi-final at the Emirates after returning from a hamstring injury which had previously seen him sidelined for 3 competitive encounters.

The ex-Chelsea hit-man shuffled off the pitch against Sporting Lisbon in the second-leg of the quarter-final stage, and Simeone initially revealed at the weekend that the robust Spanish striker stood ‘no chance’ of competing against the Gunners.

However, now that the Costa is seemingly back in contention for Atleti, Arsene Wenger will be wary of his potential presence on the pitch, as during his 3-and-a-half year spell at the Blues, the 29-year-old registered 3 goals in 6 outings against the north-Londoners in all competitions.

Costa, effectively exiled by his former employers, was ineligible to play for La Liga outfit until January due to a transfer ban being sanctioned against the club, but as the punishment was lifted at the turn of 2018, the rampaging attacker was free to exploit his domineering qualities in the final third for the second half of the 2017-18 campaign.

With 6 goals in 18 games under his belt, Los Colchoneros know that Costa is an invaluable asset to their offensive regiment, and if he’s indeed up to the challenge which awaits he and his teammates, they’ll be wise to unleash the disruptive forward in two days time to reap terror amongst Arsenal’s rearguard.

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