A big test awaits Mikel Arteta and his men as they welcome Wolves at home. The Gunners had a stop-start beginning to the campaign. They would want to get some consistency. However, it will be very difficult for them against Nuno Espírito Santo’s men.
Arsenal is currently 12th with 13 points and Wolves are 9th with 14 points. Despite this recent history at the Emirates is in the favour of Mikel Arteta’s team. In their previous 19 meetings with the wanderers, they have only lost once.
But Wolves will get some confidence from the fact that the only one defeat in 19 games, came in 2019 only. They won 1-3 at the Emirates. Also, Arsenal’s current goalscoring form has been very poor. It has been the very well highlighted fact that their last goal from open play in the Premier League came from open play.
Arsenal has lost two of their previous home games in the Premier League without scoring a goal. It was in 1908 they lost three consecutive home games without scoring a goal. Wolves might also want some revenge as last season, Arsenal pipped them to Europa League by winning the FA Cup.
Nuno Espírito Santo’s side would be expected to sit back and defend. While Arsenal will try to bring the game to them. Though there may be times when Arsenal might be the team that is sitting back and defending while Wolves attack them.
Coming into the game the wanderers must be pretty confident of getting a result. Arsenal is struggling to score goals and Wolves can defend in a rigid way. They will try to push the Gunners as wide as possible and force them to swing in crosses inside the box.
Arteta will be aware of it and he will ask his wingers to run at Wolves defenders. When they will run back it will create more space for them to swing in a cross or take a shot. The opening goal in the game will be crucial for both teams. They will also try to score from set-pieces.
If any of the teams get the first goal, they will get more defensive and try to frustrate the opposition in possession. The team that manages to quickly switch the play will be able to create more chances, though it will be difficult for both teams.
Team News and Injury Update
Mikel Arteta will be without Nicolas Pepe who is suspended for the game. He received a red card in the previous game against Leeds United. Summer signing Thomas Partey has been ruled out for the game with a thigh injury. Willian had a calf problem but he could feature in this game.
Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac will also be hopeful to feature in the game after testing covid positive. Gabriel Martinelli is a long term absentee whom we might see.
The visiting side will welcome back captain Conor Coady, who missed his first Premier League game in three years. Romain Saiss has been ruled out as he tested covid positive. Spanish midfielder Jonny is still recovering from a knee injury.
Ones to watch out for
Despite his poor form, Aubameyang still poses a threat in front of goal. Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin will be crucial to attack from the wide areas. Gabriel and Leno will be the key players in defense.
Lacazatte hasn’t been in good form but he can still pop up with a goal. Ceballos can provide a creative outlet. While Saka is improving game after game, these three will be the players to watch out for.
Raul Jimenez is an obvious choice alongside Conor Coady who will lead Wolves backline. Joa Moutinho and Ruben Neves will try to win the midfield battle. Everyone knows what Adama Traore is capable of.
Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence will try to provide the creative passes. While Nelson Semedo’s experience can help him to perform well. These three will be the players to watch out for.
Arsenal vs Wolves: Head to Head stats
Since Mikel Arteta took over at the Emirates, Arsenal and Wolves just faced each other just once. It was the Premier League game at Molineux Stadium in which Arsenal turned out to be 0-2 winners. Saka and Laccaztte scored the goals.
Predicted Line Ups and Prediction
Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Ceballos, Xhaka, Nelson, Willock, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Wolves: Patricio, Boly, Coady, Kilman, Semedo, Moutinho, Neves, Ait-Nouri, Neto, Podence, Jimenez.
Match Prediction: The game is likely to end in a draw given Arsenal’s poor goal scoring form but strong defending.