Arsenal host Wolves in the Premier League on Sunday evening’s encounter at the Emirates Stadium.
Three points. Two words that Arsenal want to be talking about come late on Sunday evening. If only securing them wouldn’t be so blasted hard.
Ideally, Wolves rock up in their utterly bizarre away kit and the players mistake them for Molde, go out with some fluidity and attack with intent from all areas. If only.
Mikel Arteta’s preparations for Sunday are far from ideal. Sure, the squad will be boosted by qualification to the Europa League knockout stages, but when has that really filtered through into Premier League matches?
While personnel wise we can expect it to be different from midweek, the (potential) absences of some key players elevate the fear that all supporters have coming into league fixtures these days that little bit more.
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Two of the most important players in this team, Bukayo Saka and Thomas Partey, are touch and go, although the murmurs are that they’re leaning more towards a place on the bench at best. There is hope for some good news prior to kick-off, although as well all know, hope is best not clung onto.
Up front it’s an eager wait to see whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gets the nod through the middle, an area he was mostly ineffective at against Leeds. Has he forgotten how to play there? Absolutely not. With a midfield boasting less progression than a broken escalator, his subconscious desire to drop deep and collect possession is forgiven.
The wide areas will be intriguing, too. No Nicolas Pepe and question marks over Willian – not to mention the superb display he put in against Molde – should rubberstamp Reiss Nelson‘s place in the starting lineup.
We’ll have to wait and see. Here is your predicted Arsenal lineup to face Wolves on Sunday.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Bernd Leno (GK) – Alex Runarsson enjoyed only his second run out since joining in the summer, putting in a solid enough display away at Molde. His distribution looks solid, and while he haven’t seen him need to really make a save yet, it goes without saying that Leno is still way ahead.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – Both of the full-backs have a big game on their hands. Wolves are a side who build their attacks through the middle but stretch the play out wide where they bombard the flanks with pace, meaning Bellerin will have to be switched on to whatever danger he may face.
Rob Holding (CB) – The communication between Rob Holding and Gabriel will have to be spot on. Daniel Podence drifts around the spaces that Raul Jimenez occupies so deciding who picks up who in and around the box has to be telepathic. Or, shouted really loudly so that they can hear each other.
Gabriel Magalhaes (CB) – Both him and Saka vying for the Player of the Season so far. The progress he’s shown in such a short space of time has cemented his place as solely a league player, so there is no way on earth he doesn’t play. Our best central defender.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – Ideally he wouldn’t have played at all against Molde. Maybe the frosty temperatures are ideal for recovery? He seems to relish them after all.