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Mikel Arteta provides fitness update on Tomiyasu and Smith Rowe

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has provided a fitness update on two players ahead of Sunday’s Premier League meeting against Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners are currently on a four-match winning league streak, and have the chance to extend the run against the Foxes, who had a busy midweek European tie against Rennes.

Ahead of the game, Arteta has revealed that the club are still assessing the calf issue of Takehiro Tomiyasu and hinted he may not be available to face the Midlands club.

However, he was more positive about the availability of the club’s leading goalscorer Emile Smith Rowe, who has recently been building up his fitness after a bout of coronavirus.

He told Arsenal.com: “Tomiyasu we are still assessing him because we are taking some time to try to protect him and get him in the best and the safest possible way so he can help the team as quick as possible. At the minute, it looks like Emile’s going to be available.

“He went through COVID, but he’s feeling good now and he’s had a couple of training sessions. Hopefully he can get the rhythm and the consistency and stay out of missing games because he’s a really important player for us and we need him.”

The Gunners are currently fourth in the Premier League table with 48 points, one ahead of Manchester United, who have played three games more than them.

The club are in a solid position in the Champions League race. They are scheduled to face the Foxes, who will be without striker Jamie Vardy.

Vardy has been ruled out for a few weeks with a knee injury. That should be a further boost for the Gunners, considering the England star has been a nemesis for them.

The 35-year-old star has netted a stunning 11 goals from just 14 previous meetings. Despite his absence, the north London club can’t afford to be complacent.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have several match-winners in the squad, including James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho, and it may not be an easy challenge on Sunday.

It could be a key phase for the Gunners in their Champions League pursuit, with games against Aston Villa and Liverpool to follow before the March international break.

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