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Mikel Arteta provides fitness update on Lacazette and Tomiyasu

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has provided a fitness update on Alexandre Lacazette and Takehiro Tomiyasu ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash at Chelsea.

The Gunners have been in a dismal run of form since the March international break, suffering three straight defeats in the Premier League.

As a result, their top-four ambitions are quickly fading and they must return to winning ways at Stamford Bridge tomorrow to keep their hopes alive.

Ahead of the game, Arteta has provided some positive news on the fitness front as Lacazette and Tomiyasu could feature against the Blues.

Speaking in today’s press conference, Arteta said that Lacazette and Tomiyasu will be assessed ahead of tomorrow’s much-anticipated London derby.

He told football.london: “With [Alexandre] Lacazette, we are assessing him today to see if he will be available [after Covid]. [Takehiro] Tomiyasu is very, very close. Whether this game is going to be too early or not, we will decide today after training.”

Lacazette has not scored from open play for the Gunners since December, but the Frenchman has been influential in the build-up with seven assists.

His absence was felt during the recent away trip to Southampton where Eddie Nketiah failed to capitalise on a rare league start as the centre-forward.

Meanwhile, Cedric Soares has done a credible job as Tomiyasu’s deputy at right-back, but it can’t be denied that the latter is better organised defensively.

Tomiyasu has excelled with his ability to win regular aerial and ground duels. His availability for the derby would be a big boost for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Arsenal are currently placed sixth in the Premier League standings, three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand.

There is a realistic chance of Champions League qualification, but their run-in is the most difficult with Chelsea, Manchester United, West Ham and Tottenham to face.

Their record against the ‘Big Six’ has been a cause for concern over the years. It remains to be seen whether Arteta can put an end to the ongoing winless streak.

Long-term injuries to Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey are big blows, but the Gunners can’t afford to let their season slip away after several months of hard work.

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