Wolves travel to North London on Saturday to take on Unai Emery’s Arsenal. We come into this tie on the back of a 5-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.
This includes recent victories against Watford and away at Man City. Now facing a side which have regressed in recent years, Wolves should have nothing to fear against Arsenal.
After Captain Granit Xhaka’s outburst during last-Sunday’s draw with Palace, the Gunners are in disarray. Many Arsenal fans are rightly annoyed with their Managers team selection this season. World-class midfielder Mesut Özil has played just 71 minutes of Premier League football this season. Meanwhile, fans are unhappy that Lucas Torreira and new-signing Dani Ceballos have not been featuring more often. The Xhaka-Guendouzi midfield Emery will likely pick against us on Saturday should give Wolves nothing to fear.
The back four of Arsenal is arguably the weakest area in their side. The centre-back pairing of Sokratis and David Luiz is shaky-at-best, and should provide numerous opportunities for Jimenez, Jota and Traore to find holes. Arsenal have also been caught trying to play out from the back on occasions this season- notably in the draw against Watford.
This is an area Wolves can exploit, pressing high to win possession in the final third. Either new-signing Kieran Tierney or Kolašinac will have to deal with the Doherty-Traore partnership down the right-hand side. Whilst Tierney is a talented player, he does have defensive flaws. Also, although Kolašinac may be the guy you want defending you from a knife-wielding robbery, defending against Adama Traore is a different story. Wolves should expect to get success down the left on Saturday.
Another reason for Wolves to be confident going into the trip to the Emirates comes from last seasons results. We came out comfortable deserved winners in April, sealing the game in the first half. This time last year, Wolves away trip to Arsenal resulted in a 1-1 draw. However, we were unlucky to not win the game after generating more shots (and shots on target) than the London side. Wolves also went close with Traore and Gibbs-White late on. These games prove we can more than compete with Arsenal on Saturday.
Though Coady and Patricio may have to bring their A-Game to stop Aubameyang, overall Wolves should have nothing to fear when travelling to the Emirates on Saturday.