Arsenal have been handed a significant injury blow ahead of their clash with Aston Villa at Saturday Lunchtime as it looks increasingly unlikely that Takehiro Tomiyasu will be fit to play any part in the encounter.
The Japanese defender has been missing from action since the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, in which Arsenal fell to a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool. Having been rushed back from a thigh injury to play some part in the tie, the Arsenal man picked up another injury in his other thigh, that has kept him sidelined for the six weeks since.
And now, the most telling evidence that he may not be fit enough for the trip against Aston Villa has emerged as the defender has been left out of Japan’s international squad for their upcoming World Cup Qualifiers with Australia and Vietnam.
SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) squad – AFC Asian Qualifiers【Road to Qatar】vs Australia (3/24＠Sydney) vs V #football https://t.co/ML9Tsu2u4H
— jfa_en (@jfa_en) March 16, 2022
It means that, while he won’t go and join up with fellow Premier League player Takumi Minamino in the Japan squad, he will be able to boost his fitness at London Colney before Arsenal’s trip to Crystal Palace at the beginning of April.
Arsenal facing rare fixture pile up
In a season that doesn’t contain European football, and in which Arsenal have just one competition left to play in, it is odd to hear a manager complaining about fixtures. However, that is precisely what Mikel Arteta did following his side’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in a game that was bizarrely handed an 8.15 Kick off.
Asked Mikel Arteta about the short turn around to Villa.
He said (sarcastically): Thank you so much for the Premier League.
He was very, very unhappy.
He insists the players, though, will be at full tilt at Villa Park.
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) March 16, 2022
‘Thank you so much to the Premier League to do that’, he said sarcastically, when asked about the quick turnaround.
‘And they’ve done it again when we have to play Chelsea and Manchester United.’
‘So if they want to give them any advantage, I say to them today, thank you so much for doing that.’
He will be hoping that his youthful side can continue their energetic performances despite the lack of rest.
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Premier League table
|6||West Ham United||29||12||48|
|13||Brighton & Hove Albion||28||-8||33|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||20|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||13|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||12|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur||12|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||12|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||11|
|Toney, Ivan||Brentford FC||11|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City||10|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||10|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City||10|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||9|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||9|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City||9|
|Smith-Rowe, Emile||Arsenal FC||9|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace||9|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||8|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||8|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||8|
|Saka, Bukayo||Arsenal FC||8|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||9|
|Firpo, Junior||Leeds United||0||9|
|Salisu, Mohammed||Southampton FC||0||8|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||7|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||0||8|
|Cash, Matty||Aston Villa||0||8|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||8|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||8|
|Romeu, Oriol||Southampton FC||0||8|
|Brownhill, Josh||Burnley FC||0||8|
|Mctominay, Scott||Manchester United||0||8|
|Maguire, Harry||Manchester United||0||7|
|Romero, Cristian||Tottenham Hotspur||0||8|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||8|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||0||7|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||1||6|
|Moreno, Rodrigo||Leeds United||0||7|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||7|
|Westwood, Ashley||Burnley FC||0||7|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United||0||7|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||11|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||10|
|Robertson, Andy||Liverpool FC||10|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||9|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||8|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||7|
|Lacazette, Alexandre||Arsenal FC||7|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||7|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||6|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||6|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||6|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||6|
|Barnes, Harvey||Leicester City||6|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||6|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||5|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||5|
|Saka, Bukayo||Arsenal FC||5|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||5|
|Henderson, Jordan||Liverpool FC||5|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||5|