The rearranged matches keep on coming in the Premier League this week and there is another one to sit back and enjoy on Thursday evening when Arsenal host Wolverhampton Wanderers in a key match in the top four race.
Wolves announced themselves as challengers for a Champions League spot with their win last weekend while Arsenal have always had it as their ambition so there is no shortage of things to play for in this Emirates encounter.
Where to watch
The good thing about this match is this one does have UK coverage with Prime Video the destination for those who want to view the game. The build-up begins at 7pm with the action kicking off at 7.45pm.
After a bit of a dismal run around the end of November and going into December, Arsenal have now lost just one of their last eight in the Premier League but yet you sense there is still a bit of gloom around The Emirates at present. I would imagine that is because the style of play isn’t always the greatest but in recent times at least there can’t be too many complaints at the results, even if they haven’t been achieved quite how the home faithful would have liked them to be.
Arsenal are clearly a work in progress under Mikel Arteta, who is introducing plenty of young blood into his squad. They will take time to be nurtured into anything better than top four challengers but we saw signs on Saturday of the excitement their young players can bring. They are adding consistency to their results and if they can start putting teams away more emphatically and attractively their fans should be able to get very excited again.
I don’t think there would have been many, even inside Molineux, who would have expected Wolverhampton Wanderers to be having the season they are under Bruno Lage. Usually overseas coaches need time to find their feet in English football but he has had none of that as he has built on the good work of Nuno Espirito Santo. The only difference is that there is a little more entertainment about the way Wolves do things under Lage, even if they remain a defensively solid first outfit.
Wolves head to the capital having won five of their last six matches, and six of their last eight, with the only defeat in that time coming against their opponents here which they will be looking to rectify. The only criticism you can have of this Wolves team is that they don’t score enough goals. They only have 23 in their 24 matches but if they can put that right then they could achieve anything this term because only Manchester City have conceded fewer than their 18.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH 888SPORT AND BET £10 TO GET £30 IN FREE BETS PLUS A £10 CASINO BONUS! PERFECT OFFER TO USE ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE! CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO JOIN. USE CODE 30F. NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. 18+ T&Cs apply (See image for significant terms). Gamble Aware.
Arsenal will be boosted by the return of Gabriel Martinelli who missed the win over Brentford on Saturday due to the red card he picked up when these two met at Molineux. Takehiro Tomiyasu is nearing a return to the starting XI too.
Willy Boly is said to be back in full training but whether he is involved in this match remains to be seen. Pedro Neto was involved for the first time in months at the weekend and he’ll be hoping for more minutes here.
When you look at the bare numbers for Wolverhampton Wanderers and see they have only conceded 18 goals all season and sit seventh in the table you could be forgiven for getting carried away about them but actually when you delve a smidgeon deeper you’ll see that actually they should have conceded upwards of 30 goals based on xG and that their keeper is having a very good season. There was evidence of that on Sunday when Leicester outplayed Wolves on xG but again Sa came to their rescue.
That sort of thing rarely gets maintained over the course of a complete campaign and while Wolves are on a four match winning run on the road and need to be respected as a result of that, I’ve got to think that Arsenal might take some stopping here. Only Manchester City and Chelsea have exited the Emirates this season with all three points and while Wolves are going ok they are not in that sort of league just yet. Arsenal may not be as convincing as some of their fans would like but they are getting the job done at home and can win a fairly low scoring contest here.
Back Arsenal to win and under 3.5 goals for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with Boylesports
Back them here: