Mikel Arteta issues update on key Arsenal pair ahead of Chelsea clash

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed that both Takehiro Tomiyasu and Alexandre Lacazette will be assessed on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, as both could be set to feature.

Tomiyasu was expected to return to training following the Southampton defeat, after three months spent on the sideline with various thigh injuries, and the Gunners boss claims that the Japan defender is "very very close" to a return but that the game against the Blues could come too soon.

Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette missed the defeat to Southampton after testing positive for COVID-19, for the second time this season, and like Tomiyasu is touch and go for the trip across the capital. His fitness will be assessed following Tuesday's training session.

Arsenal in must-win territory?

Three defeats on the bounce to sides in midtable have left Arsenal needing to desperately make up ground in the race to finish fourth in the Premier League, and qualify for the Champions League next season as a result.

A win over Chelsea and then a result against Manchester United at the Emirates on Saturday would go a long way to reversing some of the damage done, not least because the clash with the Blues represents their game in hand over north London rivals Tottenham, currently holders of 4th place.

However, defeats in either or both games could see the Gunners slip out of contention altogether, especially if Tottenham can string together any sort of form ahead of the rescheduled north London derby in the penultimate week of the season.

It is reaching the make-or-break part of the season for every side, and Mikel Arteta's side are no exception.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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