Atletico coach says Costa unlikely to play first leg vs Arsenal


Atletico coach says Costa unlikely to play first leg vs Arsenal

Arsenal could be handed a potential boost by Simeone's decision to switch up his side, while also taking confidence from key man Diego Costa's absence for the first leg.

'"We've made a decision to subsidise tickets for the second leg, meaning our travelling fans will spend the same as those from Atletico".

Paco Jemez's side have 21 points from 34 games and are 13 short of Levante in 17th with only four matches left and they will join bottom side Malaga in the second division next season.

Simeone rested forward Antoine Griezmann and midfielder Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion, before sending both on as second-half substitutes.

Simeone shuffled his deck recently and opted to field a back-three defence as Atletico played out an underwhelming 0-0 stalemate with Real Betis in La Liga. Defender Diego Godin never left the bench. Today, Jan Oblak is linked with a move to England...

With Betis continuing to press forward, Simeone chose to introduce Koke, Griezmann and Vrsaljko to kill the game off. Cristian Tello almost broke the deadlock in the 70th minute; however his shot smashed off the outside post.

The Spain midfielder came closest to breaking the deadlock in a game of missed chances, but saw his effort come off the crossbar with Pedro Lopez beaten.

Diego Simeone's Atletico moved 11 points behind Barcelona with four games remaining and the unbeaten leaders need one more point to win the title. I expect everyone to have enough match fitness by Thursday. Barcelona won 5-0.

Las Palmas have gone 12 matches without a victory and this was their fifth straight defeat.

"It is a sad day for all of us, not just because we were relegated, but for the way the game went and the result", Las Palmas coach Paco Jemez said.

Espanyol fired Quique Sanchez Flores as its manager on Friday after five matches without scoring a goal.