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Luton Town
Premier League | Gameweek 15
Dec 5, 2023 at 8.15pm UK
Kenilworth Road Stadium
Arsenal logo
Luton
3 - 4
Arsenal
Osho (25'), Adebayo (49'), Barkley (57')
Brown (33'), Barkley (44')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Martinelli (20'), Jesus (45'), Havertz (60'), Rice (90+7')
Jesus (45+1'), Arteta (90+8')

Mikel Arteta provides encouraging Takehiro Tomiyasu update ahead of Luton clash

Arteta provides encouraging Tomiyasu update ahead of Luton clash
© Reuters
Mikel Arteta is hopeful that Takehiro Tomiyasu will be fit for Arsenal's Premier League clash with Luton Town on Saturday after his substitution against Wolves.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is optimistic that Takehiro Tomiyasu will be available for Tuesday's Premier League clash with Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

The former Bologna man was forced off in the dying embers of Saturday's 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers with an unexplained problem, which Arteta could not shed any light on.

The Spaniard expressed hope that Tomiyasu was merely suffering from fatigue, having given the right-back a run of starts thanks to his eye-catching form over the past few weeks.

The Japan international has been cursed by numerous injuries since joining the club in 2021, though, and his withdrawal at the weekend naturally raised fears of another layoff.

However, speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference, Arteta revealed that Tomiyasu's substitution was more precautionary than anything else, and he hopes that the "strong boy" will be fine to feature on Tuesday.

Arsenal defender Ben White pictured in October 2023© Reuters

"We assessed him after the game, we took him off as a precaution so we'll wait. Whether it's useful to use him or not, we will decide tomorrow. He's a strong boy and hopefully he'll be fine," Arteta said.

Should Arteta opt against risking Tomiyasu given his history of injuries, the Spaniard can call upon a fit-again Ben White - who has lost his place in the team to his teammate - to deputise on the right-hand side.

White completed the full 90 in Arsenal's 2-0 Champions League win over Sevilla on November 8, but Arteta revealed after the game that the Englishman had been struggling towards the end, and he has not started any of the Gunners' three matches since the international break.

However, Arteta has affirmed that White is feeling "perfect" ahead of a possible start on Tuesday, saying: "After his injury and the way we decided to manage his load, he's feeling perfect and back to fitness. He played some minutes and he's now in a good place."

By narrowly defeating Wolves over the weekend, Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points, although Liverpool cut that advantage down to two by overcoming Fulham a day later.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacts on December 2, 2023© Reuters

Manchester City failed to pile the pressure on the Gunners, though, playing out their third successive top-flight draw in a 3-3 thriller with Tottenham Hotspur, but Arteta has insisted that he takes no encouragement from his former team's slip-ups.

"Encouragement? No. Encouragement comes from watching my team play and watching how they behave every single day, how hungry and willing they are to play every single game, the way they approach every single training session," Arteta added.

"That's what gives me encouragement. What the others do is something we cannot control. I don't think about that, I think about how we're going to play better tomorrow and be more consistent and more difficult to beat.

"The things that have to tweak and how we can use our players in the best possible way to win. It's still a huge marathon ahead of us."

Tuesday's game will mark the first competitive meeting between Luton and Arsenal since December 1991, when only two members of the Gunners' first-team squad - Cedric Soares and Jorginho - had been born.

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