Arsenal’s final game of 2022 sees them face Brighton and Hove Albion away from home with Mikel Arteta hoping his side can keep their Premier League title push on track.

No fresh injury concerns have been reported for Arsenal ahead of their Premier League clash against Brighton and Hove Albion.

This is certainly a massive boost for Mikel Arteta who is already without the services of star striker Gabriel Jesus after his World Cup experience came to an end earlier than expected after sustaining medial ligament damage in Brazil’s final group game against Cameroon.


The £45m summer signing from Manchester City has since undergone knee surgery and could be out until March, meanwhile, he’s been joined in the treatment room by Reiss Nelson who limped off against Juventus a fortnight ago with a hamstring injury and is set to be out for a “while”.

READ MORE: Every word Mikel Arteta said on Mudryk’s Arsenal transfer, Saliba’s contract, Tomiyasu and Pele

Even without the pair, Arsenal still managed to come from behind to beat West Ham United on Boxing Day thanks to second half strikes from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah. The good news is that the trio are expected to be available to face Brighton.

“Everything is good so far apart from the players that we had out,” Arteta revealed during his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon. “Everybody has been training well.” As a result, heading into the Brighton fixture, of the 24 senior players listed on, it’s only Jesus and Nelson who are definitely ruled out through injury.

Meanwhile, the game comes too soon for Emile Smith Rowe to make his long-awaited return, although the hope is that it won’t be too long before he’s available for selection: “Very much,” Arteta responded when asked if the 22-year-old is close to making a comeback. “He’s made big steps in the last week or so. He took part in some training sessions lately and looked good. We’re really keen to have him back soon.”

As Arsenal are in Premier League action once again, the Spanish tactician will be permitted to name a 20-man matchday squad for the game at the Amex Stadium and with the aforementioned trio set to miss out, it means a decision on the other first-team player he must leave at home is straightforward.

For the win over West Ham, it was Karl Hein and Takehiro Tomiyasu who missed out alongside Smith Rowe, Jesus and Nelson. But even with the former returning to training this week, based on previous decisions this season, it’s unlikely that he will be called upon as Matt Turner is the backup goalkeeping option for Aaron Ramsdale.

With that said, Tomiyasu is in line to be recalled to an Arsenal matchday squad for the first time since the Europa League win over FC Zurich at the beginning of November. The Japan international took part in a full training session ahead of the Brighton clash and his availability has been confirmed by Arteta.

“Yeah he’s getting closer and closer,” said the Gunners’ boss. “He’s been training with us so he’s available.” Of course, those comments don’t exactly confirm Tomiyasu’s place in the travelling party, but Arteta’s decisions so far this season point toward the defender’s inclusion.

Despite numerous fitness issues this season, the 24-year-old has tended to make an Arsenal matchday squad when fit and available for selection. Should this trend continue for the trip to the Amex Stadium then he could take his place amongst the substitutes with youngster Amario Cozier-Duberry most at risk of dropping out altogether.


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