Arsenal and Wolves both searching for form in an evenly matched contest
Wolves to win 1-0
Neither Arsenal nor Wolves will be overly impressed with how they have started the season, albeit one which is only nine games old.
Arsenal have looked like the real deal at times, particularly in winning away to Manchester United, but have also looked pedestrian too often, with their attacking players not contributing enough in front of goal.
Many believe Mikel Arteta is the right man for the job, but sitting in 12th place will not be tolerated for much longer.
Wolves have fared slightly better and sit a point higher in 9th place. In truth, there is little to separate two sides who have scored and conceded the same number of goals this season.
They probably have the stronger starting XI, though there does appear to be something missing that would take them to the next level.
It should be an open contest.
Form Guide (all comps): WWLDW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Europa League form has been impressive
Have shown themselves capable of big performances under pressure
Reasons to be fearful:
Only one league win out of last five
Failed to score in previous two league outings
Mikel Arteta is not quite in the ‘must-win’ territory, however it would certainly help to ease the pressure currently on his shoulders.
The past month or so has simple not been good enough from his point of view, with performances and results alike substandard.
Just when he could use something to go in his favour, he faces a growing list of potential absences due to injury, with the likes of Partey, Willian, Saka and Luiz facing late fitness tests. Nicolas Pepe is suspended.
The Gunners must find a way to create more chances in front of goal – for Arsenal to go almost a month without scoring a goal in the league is unacceptable to their fans.
The positive is that Wolves are not in the best form either and seem to be lacking belief that they can repeat their fantastic season last year.
Star Man – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal’s last player to score a league goal, he remains their best player and their best hope of improvement.
Form Guide (all comps): WDWLD
Reasons to be cheerful
Only Spurs have conceded fewer goals this season
Conor Coady returns after self-isolation
Reasons to be fearful
Seem to be lacking the ‘X factor’
Winless in nine away games against Arsenal
Wolves are certainly not a team to be taken lightly, though they do seem to be lacking something which helped them into a 7th place finish last season.
Diogo Jota has proved what a big miss he is by shining at Liverpool, but they don’t quite have the same grit and determination about them that made them so difficult to play against last year.
The return of Conor Coady at the back will help, although Wolves already boast one of the best defensive records in the league.
It is going forward where they must improve – Adama Traore has not quite found form lately, and Raul Jimenez has struggled to find the back of the net with quite the same frequency as last campaign.
Still, they are a stern challenge for this Arsenal side and should be fancying their chances.
Star Man – Neto
Really impressed after coming on as a substitute against Southampton. He has pace, skill and a good eye for goal.
Arsenal must start strongly and play positively
If Wolves score first, they’re likely to win
Could be a close game
Both Arsenal and Wolves could play conservatively knowing that a defeat would be damaging for their confidence at this stage of the season.
It is highly unlikely to mean Arteta’s job is on the line, but five losses from ten games would represent a shocking start to the season.
Having said that, Wolves are the stronger side, particularly in defence and they have a habit of getting something out of these big games.
Wolves to win 1-0