Sunday, October 17

Arsenal-Wolverhampton preview



Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expects “a good test” at Molineux on Tuesday despite the worrisome form of the Wolves.

The Wolves won 2-1 at Emirates Stadium in November, a result that brought the visitors to sixth place and left Arsenal in crisis at fourteenth.

But the respective fortunes of the two sides have since changed, with the Wolves now at 14th and winless at eight.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are 10th and haven’t lost since before Christmas, but Arteta is still wary of the threat posed by this week’s opponents.

“We expect a difficult match,” he said.

“It is a team that has improved a lot over the years and has achieved great results against the big teams, so it will be a good test again for us.”

The Wolves have been without star forward Raúl Jiménez due to a serious head injury, but Arteta feels that all teams are struggling with these issues.

“We are all being affected by injuries, by the coronavirus, by all the things that are happening,” he said.

“It’s really difficult to play a starting eleven twice in a row. It’s the same for all teams.”

And his opposite Nuno Espirito Santo makes no excuses, acknowledging that the Wolves must improve.

“It takes commitment, faith and action,” he said. “When we talk about raising our standards, it is because our standards are very high.

“We hope to do it over and over again. We have to face our problems and address them. We want to perform better.”

The wolves hope new signing Willian José can play a role in a better season finale.

Nuno added: “He has brought experience and knowledge. He is a wonderful guy. We have some barriers to overcome, but we will do it together.”

PLAYERS TO SEE

Wolves – Daniel Podence

Missing Jiménez, the Wolves were also without Podence for nearly a month before returning to Chelsea last week. Since Jiménez’s last goal at Molineux, Podence is one of only two Wolves players to score multiple times at home in the Premier League. He also scored the winning goal for Arsenal in November.

Arsenal – Alexandre Lacazette

Lacazette is a fit man for Arsenal right now, especially away from home. He has scored in each of his last three Premier League away games for four goals in total. His four previous away goals in the competition came in a 25-game span between March 2019 and December 2020.

OPTA KEY FACTS

– Following their 2-1 win at Emirates Stadium in the reverse game, Wolves are looking to complete their first league double over Arsenal since 1978-79.

– Arsenal have won eight of their last 10 away games in the top flight against Wolves (D1 L1), as many as in their 30 previous visits to Molineux (D8 L14).

– The Wolves have lost their last two Premier League home games, the last time they lost three in a row at Molineux in November 2018.

– Arsenal have won each of their last three Premier League away games, more than they had won in their previous nine on the road (W2 D1 L6). The Gunners haven’t won four straight league games away from home since October 2016 with Arsene Wenger.

– Only Fulham (10) have a longer streak without a Premier League win than Wolves (eight – D3 L5).


www.si.com

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