Diego Costa fit to face Arsenal

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Diego Costa has moved to allay fears he will be unavailable to feature against Arsenal this weekend, with the Chelsea striker confirming his endeavours against Sporting will not force him to miss the derby encounter.

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Lisbon inclusion

Costa played a full game in Lisbon on Tuesday night as Chelsea recorded a narrow victory and, given the way in which the club have looked to manage his hamstring problem, this Champions League outing had appeared to put his inclusion against Arsenal in doubt.

But the Spain international is convinced that he will be in good enough shape to face the Gunners when they travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, despite having played almost 180 minutes in his side’s two most recent outings.

Costa comments

"Of course I will play against Arsenal. I am certain," Costa said, as reported by ESPN. "I played 90 minutes [in Lisbon] and now I can have a rest. I do not see a problem.

"There are a few niggles that are annoying me, but I am working to treat them during the week with the physios and the medical staff. Every day I feel closer.

He added: "To play 90 minutes suggests I am okay. Every time I play I feel better.

“The manager asks me regularly how I am to make sure I am in the best possible shape. I will keep working to return to complete fitness.”

Arsenal encounter

Costa’s declaration of fitness is a sizeable fillip for Chelsea ahead of their meeting with Arsenal, although Jose Mourinho’s side will be the clear favourites to record victory regardless of whether or not the 25-year-old does indeed play.

Chelsea’s dominance in the Premier League this season, having taken 16 points from a possible 18, and Arsenal’s inconsistent form domestically places the Blues in a commanding position, with or without their talisman.

But Jose Mourinho will still hope he is able to call on Costa, whose goalscoring record has been superb since his £32 million move from Atletico Madrid during the summer transfer window.

Costa has found the net eight times in only six appearances in the league for Chelsea, and he will be confident of adding to his tally against Arsenal, a team who were torn apart at the Bridge last season.

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Diego Costa
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