Arsenal will look to maintain their momentum as they take on London rivals West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday. The Gunners have…
The Gunners have won their last three in the Premier League and will be hoping to start a year with four consecutive league wins for the first time since 1935.
Arsenal are in especially optimistic mood after blowing the title race wide open with victory over fellow hopefuls Liverpool last week.
Mikel Arteta has received a further boost with the return of Takehiro Tomiyasu from the Asian Cup this week following Japan’s quarter-final loss to Iran.
While it’s obviously a shame that the 25-year-old fell short of glory with his country, his return will benefit the Gunners in pursuit of silverware this term.
With Oleksandr Zinchenko currently a doubt due to a calf injury, Tomiyasu’s return to London Colney could not have been any more timely.
And on Friday, Arteta hinted that the ‘world-class‘ defender could make his first Arsenal outing of the calendar year against West Ham.
Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu ‘in contention’ v West Ham
The Arsenal media team asked the Gunners boss about the latest on Tomiyasu and Zinchenko’s fitness, and his response was upbeat.
“We have a few still in contention,” he said. “They’ve been evolving really well, so tomorrow (Saturday) we’ll have another training session.
“We’re hopeful we’re going to have a few back and that we can put out a very competitive squad out there.”
You’d think that Tomiyasu is likely to get the nod ahead of Zinchenko for two reasons.
The first is that he’s likely to be fitter, in that he’s not carrying any knocks while Zinchenko is.
The second is that Tomiyasu is stronger defensively, and considering West Ham have the dangerous Mohamed Kudus in their ranks, the Japan international would be better suited to handling him than Zinchenko.