Arsenal plays host to Wolves who will be hoping to rediscover some of their lost form, but the Gunners will be desperate for a win to keep pace with the top-four.
Arsenal stretched their unbeaten run to 15 games with a bore draw against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League on Thursday and now face Wolves in the Premier League. Arsenal will be looking to avoid a third consecutive draw in the Premier League as the previous two against Crystal Palace and Liverpool have knocked them back into the fifth spot.
Unai Emery will be hoping to keep pace with the other four teams ahead of Arsenal in the table and keep the pressure on fourth-placed Tottenham in the table. Against Wolves, Emery will be looking to secure all three points and continue their excellent form in the Premier League.
Wolves, on the other hand, have tailed off from their impressive early season form which has seen them lose the last three league games. Nuno Espirito Santo, however, is not disappointed with the way their last defeat came against Tottenham where his side battled back from 3-0 down to finish the game 3-2, something that could be positive for the Arsenal clash.
The newly-promoted side will have to be on their toes and in their best of forms if they are to beat the Gunners or at least get a result, especially when the game is at Emirates, where Arsenal have been impeccable all season. Overall, Santo will want to steady his Wolves ship which has been sailing on a rough path in the past few weeks.
Team News & Tactics
Arsenal’s impressive form aside, there have been many injury problems mounting at Emirates. During the midweek Europa League clash against Sporting Lisbon, Arsenal lost two more players in Danny Welbeck and Stephan Lichtsteiner. Welbeck seems to have broken his leg and could be set for a long time on the sidelines, while the Swiss defender seems to have picked up a muscular problem.
However, to ease up some injury troubles, Arsenal have Nacho Monreal back after a month out, although it will be Sead Kolasinac who will likely keep the left back spot after playing only a bit part role in the last game during midweek. Matteo Guendouzi is also back in the side after serving a mandatory one-game ban for his red card against Blackpool in the EFL Cup.
Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey, on the other hand, will be pushing for starts after playing from the bench against Liverpool. Two players who are set to start are Alexandre Lacazette who has been directly involved in 16 goals in his 18 starts at the Emirates and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who has scored five and assisted two in five games against newly promoted sides since joining.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1) – Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac; Torreira, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette
For Wolves, they have a few concerns of their own, as Diogo Jota remains a doubt after sitting out the defeat to Spurs last weekend. The Jota concern is the only problem for Espirito Santo, as he has a full squad to choose from. Other than that, Santo will have looked at Morgan Gibbs-White’s performance off the bench against Spurs, and he surely will be in contention to start.
However, there are other players also pushing for a start in the team including Adama Traore. With Diogo Jota back in contention, barring a few surprising changes, Santo is expected to stick with the same starting lineup that faced Spurs.
The Wolves starting lineup is expected to feature Rui Patricio, Bennett, Coady, and Boly as part of the defence. Neves and Moutinho will lead the side in midfield while Costa and Cavaleiro are expected to spearhead the side against Arsenal in the attack.
Probable Starting Lineup (3-4-3) – Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny; Costa, Jimenez, Cavaleiro
- Arsenal are unbeaten in the last 19 games against Wolves in all competitions, with the last defeat coming back in September 1979.
- Wolves have only avoided defeat in one of their last eight Premier League game, losing the other seven and still winless.
- The last time the two sides played at the Emirates, it ended in a 1-1 draw, back in December 2011.
- Arsenal have taken 59 of the possible 63 points against newly promoted side since November 2010.
- Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has been involved in 16 goals from 18 starts at the Emirates.
1. Arsenal to win @ 1.66
2. Over 2.5 Match Goals @ 1.72
3. Alexandre Lacazette to score anytime @ 2.25
1. Both Teams to score in First Half @ 4.33
Player to Watch
When Torreira was signed from Sampdoria in the summer, there was a lot of optimism among the fanbase as to what they might be getting in the midfielder. After initially only playing from the bench, Torreira has only exuded class when on the pitch, while no one seemingly remembers a bad game from the Uruguayan since he joined in.
Last weekend against Liverpool, he exemplified his status as an influential force in Arsenal’s midfield with a complete all-around performance. He controlled the area and made sure Liverpool’s potential attackers did not have a sight at goal. Against Wolves, he is expected to do the same and moreover increase his influence on the team for the rest of the season.
Arsenal 3-1 Wolves
Arsenal’s chances of winning this game come with a lot of backing and factors. First playing at the Emirates, where the side are so strong and secondly their impressive unbeaten run of 15 games. Emery has designed his squad well throughout that period and against Wolves, expect Arsenal to further stamp their authority in the league.
Wolves, on the other hand, are in a terrible shape losing their last three games. Early season promised something different, but the last few games have put them back under the microscope for their bad displays. Against Arsenal, one can expect Wolves to score, while considering the quality of attack the Gunners possess, expect them to wrap up the game.