Verdict: Wolves win
Best Odds: 5/4
Knowing that three points this weekend could see them break into the top-four, Wolves will welcome Arsenal to an empty Molineux on Saturday evening.
Starting with the hosts, continuing to impress since returning from the enforced break, Wolves still find themselves firmly in the top-four chase. Opening the weekend sat just two points adrift of breaking into the Champions League spots, Nuno Espírito Santo’s side find the mood around Molineux at a continued high. Picking up a 1-0 win and also Midlands bragging rights thanks to a victory at Villa Park last weekend, the Oranges have won each of their three Premier League matchups since making a return to action. Booking their spot in the quarter-final of this year’s Europa League prior to the interruption, Wolves now find themselves in the midst of an eight-match top-flight unbeaten run. Along with watching leading marksman Raul Jiminez and Adama Traore continue to build what has been a stellar partnership in the final third, Santo will be hugely excited by his side’s recent displays at the other end of the pitch. Landing another clean sheet against bottom-three strugglers Aston Villa last time out, Saturday’s hosts are yet to concede a single goal since making their Premier League return last month.
Head Coach Nuno Espirito Santo has a fully-fit squad ahead of his 150th match in charge of Wolves.
Adama Traore is the player most likely to break into a settled side, having started Wolves’ previous home fixture against Bournemouth.
As for the visitors, despite marking their return from the enforced break with back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Manchester City, Arsenal will be boosted by what was an expected romp in North London earlier in the week. Picking up a thumping 4-0 win against rock-bottom Norwich, the Gunners have now won their last three contests across all competitions and also managed to book their spot in the semi-final of this year’s FA Cup. With new boss Mikel Arteta still confident of bringing some form of European football back to the Emirates this summer, Pep Guardiola’s former assistant will be desperate to for his squad to find some much-needed stability on their travels. Although the Gunners may have managed to snatch a 2-0 win away at a Southampton side who made a string of costly individual mistakes last week, that was Arsenal’s first Premier League away victory in their previous eight attempts. If they are to pick up what could be three crucial points this weekend, Arteta will be calling on leading marksman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to lead their charge. Bagging a brace against Norwich in midweek, the Gabon ace has 19 top-flight goals this season and sits level with Jamie Vardy at the top of the standings.
Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira is available after recovering from an ankle injury.
Head Coach Mikel Arteta must decide whether to recall Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi to his matchday squad.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides faced off earlier in the season, they played out a 1-1 draw at the Emirates.
- Wolves have won each of their three Premier League matches since returning from the enforced break.
- More impressive, Wolves have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four top-flight matches on the bounce.
- Arsenal have won their last three matches across all competitions.
- However, aside from a 2-0 win at St. Mary’s last weekend, the Gunners have failed to win any of their other seven Premier League away fixtures.
While Arsenal might make the trip to the Midlands on a three-match winning run, Wolves will see Saturday as a real chance to extend on their recent purple patch and pick up another scalp. Knowing that three points this weekend could see them break into the top-four, the Oranges have won each of their three Premier League matches since returning from the enforced break. With the Gunners continuing to show some real inconsistencies on the road, a run that saw them throw away the lead at Brighton in the most dramatic of fashion last month, we’re backing a home victory for a high-flying Wolves this weekend.
Verdict: Wolves win
Best Odds: 5/4