Arsenal have confirmed the reasons why both Takehiro Tomiyasu and Emile Smith Rowe are absent for the clash with Watford at Vicarage Road.
The pair missed the Gunners’ dramatic 2-1 win over Wolves last Thursday at the Emirates as Mikel Arteta‘s side completed a late comeback to put their push for a top four spot in a good position.
There were hopes that the pair could be available for Sunday’s match though after Arteta revealed the pair could be in contention.
“We’re in the same place as last week,” the Spaniard said. “We still have the doubt with Tomiyasu. The rest I think they’re all there.”
And now Arsenal have explained why both Tomiyasu and Smith Rowe missed out.
In a tweet on their official account the Gunners confrimed that Smith Rowe is unavailable after testing positive for COVID-19, while Tomiyasu is out due to a calf problem.
It is desperately unlucky for Smith Rowe who was out of last week’s clash due to illness and returned to training this week in the hope of seizing his spot in the starting XI back from Gabriel Martinelli.
Tomiyasu meanwhile has suffered consecutive injuries to each of his calves.
After aggravating the initial injury in the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi final second leg in January, the Japanese international returned to the bench for the win over Brentford, only to then injure his other calf in training a week later.
He is replaced in the starting line up yet again by Cedric Soares, with youngster Zak Swanson coming in on the bench.
Fellow Hale Ender Omari Hutchinson is also in first team group due to Smith Rowe’s injury despite playing 90 minutes for the Arsenal under-23s in their 2-1 win over Tottenham under-23s on Friday night.