Mikel Arteta provides Takehiro Tomiyasu update ahead of Manchester United clash

Mikel Arteta has revealed that right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu is 'available tomorrow' to face Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime 'if he trains today and feels good'.

The Gunners play host as Manchester United travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Mikel Arteta's side to kick off the Premier League weekend

The Japanese defender was 'very very close' to being fit for their 4-2 win over Chelsea, the Spaniard revealed ahead of the clash with the Blues, but was not involved in the match-day squad for the trip to Stamford Bridge, leading to questions about just how match-fit he really was.

Tomiyasu has not featured for Arsenal since January, playing 90 minutes as the Gunners fell to a 2-0 second-leg defeat to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Since then, he has suffered a thigh strain in each leg, keeping him sidelined for over 2 months.

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta has confirmed that there are no new injuries aside from the Japanese international.

Both sides face a must-win clash

It is impossible to underestimate the importance of the clash at the Emirates Stadium this Saturday to either side. The Gunners, having bounced back from three straight defeats with a win on Wednesday, need to take all three points to ensure that they don't lose ground to north London rivals Tottenham, who play later that day.

Should they lose and Spurs win, Antonio Conte's side would re-open the three point gap on the Gunners that their win over Chelsea closed in the race for 4th spot.

Meanwhile, it feels as though Manchester United need the win just to stay in contention for 4th spot. Should they lose, they would find themselves six points off the pace with just 12 points left to take in their season, while the Gunners would still have a game in hand on Ralf Rangnick's side.

The Red Devils have been boosted by the returns of Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, while Scott McTominay is also back in contention in a game they cannot afford to drop points in.

A draw suits neither side, with both losing valuable ground to Tottenham, meaning that it could be a frenzied affair come Saturday lunchtime.

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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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