Arsenal return to Premier League action after securing their Europa League progress in Norway in midweek.
The Gunners have made plain sailing in Europe so far, which is in contrast to our domestic form.
No goals from open play in more than eight hours of football and a distinctly midtable position means we haven’t come anywhere near top gear in the Premier League so far.
And next up, we have Wolves at The Emirates.
What a test this will be. Last time out in the PL, we escaped with a 0-0 draw at Leeds, after Nicolas Pepe saw red and we failed to execute any real semblance of an attacking gamelan.
True, we came close to snatching a win late on with a clearcut Bukayo Saka effort, but in terms of who really had the best of it? That was Leeds.
It’s abundantly clear we have to up our game considerably if we want to beat Wolves and climb up the table.
Wolves sit a point above us in the League table and have been a mixed bag of sorts too, but Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have danger throughout their side and have looked decent in patches too – which is more than what could be said for us recently.
Our form has been wretched but if Arteta can get us to click, then we could be in business.
Who will Arteta go for in his team selection?
Thomas Partey is who we are waiting to see return, but the midfielder will probably come up short for this game. It is thought Partey will be fit for the upcoming NLD however.
Bukayo Saka is to be tested for his fitness before the game after his dead leg against Leeds last week. Mo Elneny is ready to come back into the fold after his Covid testing, but Sead Kolasinac is still a few days away. Willian is also another who will be back in the reckoning.
There was plenty of rotation in midweek so Arteta will have his big-hitters free and fresh for this one.
Player to Watch
This man is ridiculously tough to get off the ball. Stronger than most, faster than most, Traore could lead anyone on a merry dance and he will attempt to link up and feed Raul Jiminez with his crossing and cutbacks. It is vital to our chances that we keep this guy quiet. Also, if we over commit, then giving this guy space to run into will be lethal.
How this could go
The last two matches against Wolves had us win at Molineux and draw at The Emirates. Not bad, but so much hinges on us actually creating. Wolves are great on the break and in the air, but we have to go through the centre and exploit their weakness in midfield.
Wolves place an onus on creativity – that is to say that their midfield’s speciality is not on physicality and winning back possession. We can capitalise on that, and Xhaka will be the key.
The Swiss man will likely play and if he doesn’t, it will be Elneny. Both of them can take possession and offload quickly. Make the right decisions when we have the ball and we can spring Aubameyang. If the Gabon man can run at his man, then he can wangle a yard to shoot.
Our defence is looking very firm and we can at least fall back on this. If Wolves start to come into the game, it will be down to Gabriel and co to make sure we transition quickly. Dwell on it and Wolves’ high press will kick in.
Good luck Arsenal. It’s time to win now.
Predicted Lineup – Leno, Bellerin, Gabriel, Holding, Tierney, Xhaka, Ceballos, Elneny, Saka, Willian, Aubameyang
Predicted Scoreline – 2-1 to The Arsenal
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