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The reason Takehiro Tomiyasu is not in the squad to face Wolves

Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu is not in the matchday squad to face Wolves on Saturday in the Premier League

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Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu
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Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu has been omitted from the matchday squad against Wolves on Saturday in the Premier League. The Japanese defender, who put in an impressive performance in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich, has been dropped as a precautionary measure.

The Gunners have had a disappointing week, exiting the Champions League after a lackluster display against Bayern Munich. This setback followed a defeat to Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium last Sunday, which saw them lose crucial ground in the title race to Manchester City.

Despite their recent struggles, Arsenal have the opportunity to leapfrog Pep Guardiola’s side with a win against a depleted Wolves team, who may have just 10 fit senior outfield players available for selection.

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Mikel Arteta made only one change to the side that lost to Aston Villa, with Jakub Kiwior replacing Oleksandr Zinchenko in the left-back position. The club’s official channel announced the starting XI an hour before kick-off, confirming Tomiyasu’s absence from the game.

“Takehiro Tomiyasu has been left out as a precaution after picking up a knock on Wednesday,” Arsenal announced. While Arteta confirmed just before kickoff that the 25-year-old picked up a knock against Bayern Munich. 

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“He [Tomiyasu] had a knock in the game and he had a bit of swelling and he wasn’t fit to play this game. For the rest I have picked a very strong side. We have made some changes because we need some freshness because of the type of game we expect.”

The Gunners have struggled defensively in their recent matches, conceding five goals in the last three games, compared to just four goals conceded in the previous 11 matches since the start of the year. Polish defender Kiwior was part of the side that recorded 10 wins in 11 matches in 2024, and the team appeared defensively solid with the former Spezia player in the lineup. 

Arteta has challenged his players to demonstrate “what they are made of” after witnessing their Premier League title bid falter and their Champions League aspirations dashed.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Molineux, Arteta challenged his players to show what they are made of. “It’s been an experience, not the best one. We’re fully focused on the times we have ahead of us with six games to go. The context is clear, if we win we go top of the league, you don’t need anything else to be motivated.”

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