A steady run of results brought Arsenal back in the ‘top four’ race despite being labelled as the underdogs among league’s ‘big six’. Their incredible win against Napoli in Europa League reinstated the glimpses of the good old days, but a shocking home defeat to Crystal Palace this weekend piled the pressure back on Unai Emery’s men ahead of their midweek contest at Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Wolves have been the giant killers since being promoted to Premier League last year. A late equaliser from Henrikh Mkhitaryan denied the newly promoted side from scripting a momentous win in the reverse fixture. However, an underwhelming away form would put the Gunners under some discomfort on Wednesday night.
Emery, meanwhile, must make an array of changes to the team that started the Palace tie. He rested a few of his key individuals to avoid fatigue and tiredness, but that decision damaged their momentum. The gaffer should now bank on his prized assets over fringe players to get back to winning ways.
The Gunners have been lined up in various formations throughout the campaign, and the most recent 3-4-1-2 earned them sheer supremacy over Manchester United and Napoli of late. The Spaniard must retain the same ignoring the setback against the Eagles. Arsenal would be boosted by the return of in-form Sokratis Papastathopoulos, their Greek centre-back, after serving a two-game suspension. This should see Shkodran Mustafi dropped among the substitutes following yet another disastrous display on Sunday afternoon.
Mohamed Elneny was far from convincing in the middle of the park, and a possible return of Granit Xhaka alongside Lucas Torreira would allow them to control the game centrally. Wolves have been a dominant force in midfield at home, and the Gunners must not let them rule the proceedings in the first place in order to claim a result.
Arsenal have a deadly attacking duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The latter is leading the golden boot race (jointly with Sergio Aguero and Mohamed Salah) and should continue his scoring form to beat a well-composed backline of Wolves consisting of Conor Coady and Willy Boly in the middle.
The West Midlands outfit, meanwhile, have not won since defeating Manchester United earlier this month and a shocking exit from the FA Cup semifinals seems to have derailed their campaign to some extent in these final weeks. Although they are still pretty much in contention to secure a place in Europe, the Gunners must maintain their composure and stay focused throughout to frustrate the hosts. Arsenal have an array of gifted players in their ranks. Therefore, they should showcase their artistry to win the battle of nerves.