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Arteta offers Smith Rowe fitness update ahead of Olympiacos clash

Emile Smith Rowe - Arsenal
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The Gunners starlet was forced off in the first half of the match against Leicester last month and has been away from action since.

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Emile Smith Rowe is “close to returning” from injury and could feature in Arsenal’s Europa League match against Olympiacos, Mikel Arteta has informed.

Smith Rowe was replaced by Martin Odegaard during Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Leicester City at the end of February after he had picked up a muscular injury.

The 20-year-old midfielder missed the subsequent 1-1 draw against Burnley on Saturday and was a doubt for the upcoming Europa League Round of 16 first-leg.

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As it turns out, the chances of the emerging Gunners star making it back for the trip to Greece are promising.

Arteta said in his pre-match press conference: “Yes, he is close to returning and he’s going to have a full session today to see if he can be involved in tomorrow’s game.

“After training, we will know exactly where we are with him.”

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“They are coming from playing in the Champions League,” Arteta added on the upcoming opponents. “It’s a team that is used to playing in all those competitions and they beat us last year.

“It doesn’t matter the manner [of how they beat us] but they beat us last year so we have to be better than last year to beat them now.”