Following this weekend’s Premier League round, both teams are once again in action on Tuesday when Wolves will take on an improving Arsenal side at Molineux.
Arsenal have won five of their six visits to the Molineux in the 21st century – against just one in Wolves’ favor – with the Gunners looking to claim another one that could possibly take them to the top six under certain circumstances (should Spurs
lose at Brighton on Sunday night), at least for a while.
However, Wolves triumphed 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium when these two sides last met in November in a game that will be also remembered with Raul Jimenez’s awful head injury.
Wolves Betting Preview
Finishing seventh last season, level on points with Tottenham Hotspur in sixth-place, Wolves may have to worry about their Premier League future should they fail to improve in the coming weeks.
Winless in their last 8 Premier League matches (0-3-5), Wolves were hoping to build on a hard-fought point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in midweek but instead ended up going backwards at Crystal Palace – a 1-0 defeat at Selhurst Park.
Wolves are now set for three consecutive home matches as they first take on an improved Arsenal side before they also host the likes of Leicester City (EPL) and Southampton (FA Cup) later in February.
When it comes to their current form, only newly-promoted Fulham are currently on a longer winless run (10 games) and that’s not something to be proud of.
The Wolves have enjoyed some brilliant results under Nuno Espirito Santo but need to start winning quickly to avoid getting sucked into a challenging relegation fight.
In the absence of talismanic-forward Raul Jimenez, the West Midlands outfit have won just once in 11 Premier League matches since and are down to 14th in the table.
The Mexican forward bagged 17 goals in 38 Premier League appearances last season – his most prolific campaign – and it’s quite obvious how reliant Wolves are on their goalscorer (or at least on having a natural striker in their lines).
All in all, Jimenez scored 27 goals in 55 appearances across all competitions in 2019-20 and Nuno Espirito Santo’s blueprint is pretty much based on his presence on the field.
With four goals in 10 Premier League appearances this season, Raul Jimenez remarkably remains Wolves’ joint-top-goalscorer alongside Pedro Neto, who has scored the same number of goals in 21 appearances, including the opener against Arsenal at the Emirates in November.
However, Neto is yet to score since he bagged a stoppage-time winner against Chelsea on 15 December and the Portuguese forward will be eager to end his goal-drought, as he clearly enjoys playing against London sides.
Willian José has been brought in to fill the void left by Raul Jimenez’s absence and the Brazilian forward had his chances to score in his first Premier League start against Crystal Palace.
With the likes of Jonny Castro, Marcal and Rayan Ait-Nouri all ruled out for the home side, Nelson Semedo is expected to continue at left wing-back for Wolves.
Adama Traore, who was one of Wolves’ standout performers last season, had another disappointing afternoon at the weekend, coming off the bench yet failing to have an impact on the game. The 25-years-old Spanish winger has neither scored nor assisted in 20 Premier League appearances this season and could be benched again.
Experienced Romain Saïss will be assessed as the Moroccan defender missed the last two League games, but Nuno Espirito Santo should stick with a three-man backline anyway.
Key midfielder Ruben Neves is expected to miss out following the birth of his child and veteran Joao Moutinho should start in central midfield alongside Leander Dendoncker.
Arsenal Betting Preview
With the latest draw against United (their first goalless encounter in the Premier League since February 2014), The Gunners remain unbeaten in each of their last six Premier League games against the Red Devils – their longest unbeaten streak against them in League games since the early 80’s.
Coming off a goalless draw against Manchester United on Saturday, Mikel Arteta’s side have responded well enough to last weekend’s bitterly disappointing FA Cup fourth-round defeat at the hands of Southampton with a Premier League victory away at the Saints only a few days later, followed by this hard-earned point against Manchester United.
The Gunners are moving in the right direction following a dramatic uptick in their form after a miserable autumn period. They have not lost a Premier League match since before Christmas and it looks like Mikel Arteta could be reluctant to put a limit on his ambitions for the remainder of the season.
Unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games (5-2-0), Arsenal have also kept five clean sheets in their last six matches – since an impressive 3-1 Boxing Day victory against London rivals Chelsea, which seems to be the turning point of their season so far.
Mikel Arteta revealed that skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in Covid-19 quarantine after attending to a personal issue. The 31-year-old Gabonese striker has missed Arsenal’s last three matches and the North Londoners are reportedly collaborating with both the Premier League and the British government about welcoming their ace back to the fold.
Furthermore, Arsenal’s boss suffered a couple of significant injury setbacks on the eve of the Manchester United game when Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka were both ruled out.
Arteta also revealed that Saka was left out as a precaution due to a sore hip and it’s yet to be seen whether the versatile winger will be available for this one.
Kieran Tierney was once again out for the Gunners, after failing a late fitness test and the Scotland international hopes to be in contention for the trip to West Midlands.
Arsenal’s summer signing Willian made his 250th Premier League appearance at the weekend, playing more matches in the English top-flight than any other Brazilian. However, the 32-years-old winger may have to settle for a place on the bench here, particularly if Arsenal’s teenage sensation Bukayo Saka is fully fit to feature from the outset.
Besides, Arteta also gave a late debut to new signing Martin Odegaard, signed on loan from Real Madrid, but he had little impact and the Norwegian could hope to get more minutes against Wolves in midweek.
Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos is another player who would be assessed ahead of this one, as well as his fellow compatriot Pablo Mari.
Possible Starting Lineups of Wolves and Arsenal
Wolves: Rui Patricio – Willy Bolly, Conor Coady, Maximilian Kilman – Ki-Jana Hoever, Leander Dendoncker, Joao Moutinho, Nelson Semedo – Daniel Podence, Pedro Neto – Willian Jose. (3-4-2-1)
Arsenal: Bernd Leno – Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, David Luiz, Kieran Tierney – Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka – Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe, Nicolas Pepe – Alexandre Lacazette. (4-2-3-1)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
Wolves have failed to score in back-to-back Premier League games for the second time in 2020-21 and for the first time since early-December (when they failed to do so in a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool and a 1-0 home loss to Aston Villa).
All in all, Wolves have failed to score in seven of their 21 Premier League games this season, one fewer than they did throughout the 2019-20 campaign (8 in 38 games).
Both teams have scored in four of their last five Premier League meetings since Wolves returned to the English top-flight in 2018-19 and we expect another game where both sides are capable of scoring.
Spooky Express Free Play: Both teams to score – Yes -108 @ XBet for 6/10 Units