Arsenal are looking to once again take advantage of their top four rivals’ mishaps in the Premier League when they host struggling Brentford at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Victory at Wolves was a terrific result in isolation. Tottenham losing at home to Southampton and Manchester United dropping points at Burnley added to the importance of the win.
And then without even kicking a ball the situation improved exponentially as United dropped further points at home while Spurs slipped to another home defeat, this time against Wolves, and West Ham could only draw away at Leicester.
Those results open an inviting door for Mikel Arteta’s side to strengthen their grip on the Champions League places against Thomas Frank’s side, with the manager sweating on the fitness of only one player in his streamlined squad.
Arsenal handed massive Takehiro Tomiyasu fitness boost ahead of Premier League clash against Brentford on Saturday
Excluding Benjamin White’s comfortable showing at right-back away at Norwich, the Molineux win was the only occasion where Arsenal can safely say the absence of Takehiro Tomiyasu in the side wasn’t detrimental. A recurring calf injury has kept him sidelined since the 0-0 draw with Burnley, a match he in hindsight shouldn’t have played part in.
A training camp in Dubai handed him chance to recover from his setback, although even that 18-day break between matches wasn’t enough for him to be in the matchday squad against Wolves.
With another nine days separating Premier League matches it has presented him with additional recovery time, and Arsenal have provided a welcome update on his progress on their official website.
Seen taking part in light training at London Colney, the Japanese international is now nearing his long-awaited return.
Arteta previously stated in his pre-match press conference ahead of Wolves that Tomiyasu had been ‘training hard’, and that a decision on his involvement would be made at a later date. It’s usual for the manager to be cryptic on player involvement, so he will have secretly known that the game would have come too soon for him.
But in releasing a training video specifically on the 23-year-old there is plenty of reason to believe that he is edging ever closer to coming back into the team for Saturday’s huge clash.
Cedric, to his credit, put in a fine shift last time out. But for all his endeavour he still lacks the aerial presence, aggression and variation in build-up that Tomiyasu offers. It is a hugely warming sight to see him back in training.
Arsenal need him.