After a disappointing run of form throughout October, Arsenal will look to kickstart November on a positive note when they host Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates on Saturday. The Gunners are coming into this clash on the back of an entertaining yet heartbreaking defeat to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup in midweek. They also drew with Crystal Palace in their last Premier League match.
As for Wolverhampton, they too were knocked out of the Carabao Cup in midweek after losing 2-1 to Aston Villa. The Wolves have appeared sluggish after their famous 2-0 win over Manchester City at the start of last month, notably failing to win any domestic matches since.
Unai Emery will have decisions to make after a surprisingly woke display against Liverpool. He could employ a 4-4-2 setup with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the attack. However, a three-man backline is not out of the question either as it could be important for Arsenal to mirror Wolves’ formation.
Speaking of Wolves, their manager Nuno Espirito Santo will once again rely on his preferred 3-5-2 formation. The idea would be to create turnovers in the final third by targeting the vulnerability of the Arsenal defending during their build-up phase. But, they will also have to take a defensive approach given the Gunners’ strength in the attacking department.
Emery is guaranteed to make wholesale changes to the side that lost to Liverpool on penalties. But, the Spaniard will still be missing out on Reiss Nelson while captain Granit Xhaka is also unlikely to feature. Meanwhile, Sead Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock are doubts heading into this game, though none of them was going to start anyway.
Arsenal predicted lineup
Bernd Leno; Calum Chambers, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, David Luiz, Kieran Tierney; Nicolas Pepe, Matteo Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos, Bukayo Saka; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette.
As for Wolves, the absence of Willy Boly might create a massive void in the defensive department. Romain Saiss is likely to replace the centre-back, but it remains to be seen if the Moroccan can help minimise the influence of the Arsenal attackers. Nuno has only one other injury concern, with youngster Morgan Gibbs White being a doubt.
Wolves predicted lineup
Rui Patricio; Ryan Bennett, Conor Coady, Romain Saiss; Adama Traore, Leander Dendoncker, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Jonny Castro; Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota.
The two strikers in Aubameyang and Lacazette will undoubtedly play a key role for Arsenal as they look to infiltrate a Wolves side, who are decimated by the injury of Boly. However, it will be the performances of two centre-backs in Luiz and Sokratis, which could decide their fate in this encounter as the Gunners are prone to making defensive errors.
Speaking of the Arsenal defence, Jimenez’s work-rate could be crucial as Wolves’ look to spring a surprise at the Emirates this weekend. The Mexican international will combine with Jota and form the first line of press, which could be essential as the visitors look to put pressure on the fragile Arsenal defence.
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