Arsenal boss offers fitness update on Tomiyasu & Smith Rowe

By on March 18, 2022


Arsenal will be looking to get back to winning ways when we head to Villa Park on Saturday lunchtime to take on Aston Villa.

Mikel Arteta has been speaking at his pre-match press conference this morning ahead of the game, and the Gunners boss has given an update on the fitness of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Emile Smith Rowe.

Tomiyasu hasn’t featured for Arsenal since late January due to niggling calf injuries. The Japanese international has been eased back into first team training in recent weeks with the club taking a cautious approach to his return.

Tomiyasu wasn’t risked for the 2-0 Premier League defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday night. However, Arteta says there is a ‘chance’ the defender could be back in contention for the trip to Villa Park tomorrow. The right-back will be assessed at training today before a final decision is made over his availability this weekend.

Smith Rowe has been struggling with fitness and illness problems over the past few weeks which have restricted his playing time. The attacker was once again named on the bench for Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool in midweek.

Arteta has revealed that Smith Rowe ‘had a little issue’ before the match on Wednesday but has ‘been fine the last two days’. So it appears the 21-year-old has recovered and should be in contention to face Villa.

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Arteta is quoted by Football London as saying:

Arteta on Tomiyasu’s chances
There is a chance, but we don’t know. Let’s see today. He had a recurring injury around the same place. After that you have to be very cautious.

Arteta on Smith Rowe’s fitness
He was fine again. He had a little issue before the game but he’s been fine the last two days so hopefully he can have some consistency.

Otherwise, Arsenal have no other injury concerns to deal with so Arteta has virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from for the trip to Villa Park this weekend.

The boss has played a very settled side in recent weeks but if he decides to freshen things up tomorrow, then the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Smith Rowe and Albert Sambi Lokonga are options.

The defeat to Liverpool ended our excellent run but Arsenal still sit fourth in the table with two games in hand over fifth-placed Man Utd so we can cement our position with a win over Villa.

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