Arsenal host Huddersfield in a game that may hold more significance than some may imagine as the Emirates fans get set for Wednesday.
Arsenal managed to eke out a narrow 1-0 win at Burnley to continue their march towards the top echelons of the Premier League table. With just a single defeat in the last five games and 12 points in the same group of fixtures, Arsenal are right back in the title race, sitting just four points behind second-placed Manchester United.
Huddersfield, on the other hand, have petered out after the shock win over Manchester United. The newly promoted side did try their best against the current leaders, but Manchester City proved too powerful. Huddersfield will now look to get back to winning ways after back-to-back defeats.
Ahead of the Wednesday fixture at Emirates, we take a closer look at the two teams.
Team News & Tactics
Apart from Santi Cazorla – Arsenal’s only remaining long-term absentee – Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi are doubts for the game, with the latter sidelined with a dead leg while Ozil is set to be assessed before taking a decision on his involvement on Wednesday.
Arsene Wenger has seen his backline trio of Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny keep back-to-back clean sheets and their brilliant defensive record whenever played together should result in an automatic selection to man the line and support Petr Cech.
In case Ozil and Iwobi both fail to make it, we may see Arsene Wenger thrust Danny Welbeck or Theo Walcott into the lineup, based on the former’s fitness. Arsenal have seen a welcome change of tactics from full-on possession based to a more hybrid style of football – a brand which has been bringing them more success in recent times.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Welbeck, Sanchez; Lacazette
Rajiv Van La Parra is serving his suspension for the early shower received against Manchester City and will be unavailable for the game. The others to miss out are Jon Stankovic, Michael Hefele, Phillip Billing and Kasey Palmer, all of whom are on the sidelines with varied injury issues.
David Wagner has a lot to ponder on. The manager chose to leave Elias Kachunga out against Manchester City and the player is likely to return to the starting lineup on Wednesday. Also in contention to start his first game since September is Steve Mounie, one of the shining lights of Huddersfield’s great start to the Premier League.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lossl; Hadergjonaj, Zanka, Schindler, Lowe; Hogg, Mooy; Kachunga, Sabiri, Ince; Mounie
1. Arsenal Asian Handicap -2.0 @2.040
2. Arsenal Half-Time Result/Full-Time Result @1.61
1. Arsenal 3-0 Huddersfield Correct Scoreline @7.50
1. Red-dersfield – Each of Huddersfield’s last three games have seen an early shower.
2. Fortress and a Weak Challenge – Huddersfield have conceded at least 2 goals in each of their last three away trips, losing all three of them. Arsenal, on the other hand, have won their last 11 home games in the Premier League.
3. Arsenal and Huddersfield have met each other only twice before, with both the teams scoring in each of those occasions and Arsenal triumphing by an identical scoreline of 2 goals to 1.
4. Barren vs Flood – Huddersfield have failed to score in each of their last five away games, while Arsenal have scored at least 2 goals in their last nine games at Emirates.
5. Alexandre Lacazette has played all six of his side’s home games in the Premier League so far, with a record of 4 goals and an assist to show for his efforts.
Player to Watch
The man who makes Huddersfield tick – Aaron Mooy will be crucial to his side’s fortunes on Wednesday. David Wagner is unlikely to change his side’s footballing style for the trip to Emirates and his side’s chances will depend a lot on Mooy’s ability to outshine the midfielders from Arsenal.
Arsenal 3-0 Huddersfield
A match that has more significance than one may imagine as it will highlight Arsenal’s ability to jostle with a packed schedule, with December right around the corner. Huddersfield will be up to the task, but as seen more often than not on their away trips, David Wagner’s side has a knack of unfolding rather easily.
The Emirates could bear witness to more of the same on Wednesday, with the Gunners tipped for smooth sailing.