In-form Gunners take on struggling Sheffield United to keep pace with leaders
Arsenal to win 2-1
Arsenal had mixed fortune against Liverpool in the past week, losing in the league with both sides playing their strongest sides before winning on penalties in the Carabao Cup where several first team stars were rested.
What will have pleased their manager is that they were competitive in both games, something which has not always been the case in previous seasons.
They will be at full strength again this weekend as they look to press ahead with their push for the top four and they’ve looked good value for their two wins against similar opposition.
Sheffield United will be worried, for sure. Chris Wilder enjoyed a fantastic first season in the Premier League last time around, but will be wondering when they will pick up their first points of the new campaign after three straight defeats.
It’s unlikely to come this weekend, with Arsenal having the bit between their teeth. They’ll want to go into the International Break on a high and are favourites to run out comfortable winners here.
Form Guide (all comps): WWWLW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Not lost of Premier League game at home in 2020
Their style of play is often too strong for the likes of Sheffield Utd.
Reasons to be fearful:
Winless in their previous three games against this opposition
Will face a battle against a determined team
Of the teams who finished outside the top four last season, Arsenal are one of the best placed sides to break into the Champions League spots this time around.
Manager Mikel Arteta firmly has his feet under the table and fans are optimistic that the side are headed in the right direction finally. They’ve also turned The Emirates into a fortress, having not lost there in this calendar year.
They’re also despatching the lower teams with each – no defeats in the previous 40 matches to teams in the relegation zone. It’ll be the games against bigger teams than Sheffield United that will define where they finish this season.
The Gunners saw off Fulham on the opening day of the season with ease, and all indicators point to this game following a similar route.
Star Man – Alexandre Lacazette
The Frenchman has scored in all three league games so far this season. He and Aubameyang are on fire.
Form Guide (all comps): LLLL
Reasons to be cheerful
Rhian Brewster has joined, though not eligible for this game
Must score their first goal at some point
Reasons to be fearful
Without a goal, or a point this season
Can’t get a break with injuries
Unfortunately for manager Chris Wilder, his side are facing some pretty dark statistics.
If they were to suffer a likely defeat to Arsenal this weekend, it would be their seventh consecutive league loss, equalling their longest losing streak since 1975.
The fact that they have not yet scored a goal is particularly disappointing. Last season’s top scorer Lys Mousset remains out after surgery and new signing Rhian Brewster from Liverpool did not complete his transfer in time to be eligible for Sunday’s game.
What’s also worrying is that two of their three defeats have been against teams who are, on paper, evenly matched and competing for the same places in the league.
Wolves are a much better side, but Aston Villa and Leeds are two teams United should be doing better against.
They’ll find it very tough against Arsenal.
Star Man – Oli McBurnie
Needs to find his scoring boots quickly or may find himself on the bench
Arsenal are heavy favourites
The Gunners are likely to find the net on at least two occasions
Sheffield United to score their first goal of the season
It would be ridiculous for Sheffield United’s goal draught to continue any longer.
They are highly unlikely to win here, but Arsenal’s defence are leaky enough to provide optimism for Chris Wilder’s side.
Unfortunately for Sheffield United, just the one goal won’t be enough to earn points at The Emirates as Arsenal are likely to put two or three goals in at the other end.
Lacazette has looked sharp since the start of the season and could continue his run here.
Arsenal to win 2-1