Arsenal face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday, looking for their first league victory since October 6th.
Unai Emery’s side have not been on a good run of form since that victory over Bournemouth at the start of the month. They lost to Sheffield United, scraped past Vitoria by the skin of their teeth, blew a lead against Crystal Palace and then did the same against Liverpool.
The only upside is that the fixtures are so busy at the moment that they’re constantly getting chances to put things right. The latest one of these is against Wolves.
Wolves have been in eerily similar form to Arsenal. Since their win on October 6th over Manchester City, they’ve come from behind to win in the Europa League, been eliminated from the League Cup and drawn both of their league games.
Let’s have a look at the team news and our predicted lineup for the clash.
Emi Martinez didn’t have a good showing against Liverpool, although he’s done well in general so far this season. Bernd Leno will replace him as usual for the Premier League games.
Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac didn’t have great nights against Liverpool, so both on form and fitness they’re unlikely to start again on Saturday. Hector Bellerin played well, but he won’t be rushed into another start as his injury recovery continues.
Instead, Calum Chambers, David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Kieran Tierney should make the starting lineup against Wolves.
This area of the pitch is dominated by off-field questions, which is a shame. Mesut Özil played well on Wednesday, but will Emery actually start picking him again? Granit Xhaka has apologised after last weekend, but is he ready to play in front of the same crowd?
According to Emery’s press conference, Xhaka will take the game off, which is for the best.
Matteo Guendouzi is sure to start, but past that it’s a bit of a gamble. Lucas Torreira came off early after a good performance against Liverpool, so hopefully, he’s ready to play too. Joe Willock is probably worn out from his 90 minutes on Wednesday.
Dani Ceballos will probably fill the third spot, but on form it should absolutely be Özil.
Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will all start. It’s hard to see Unai Emery dropping any of the three, despite all the young players pushing for chances with their League Cup and Europa League performances.
Bukayo Saka got another assist on Wednesday, whilst Gabriel Martinelli scored a brace and Ainsley Maitland-Niles scored. Emile Smith Rowe also performed well against Vitoria, so in terms of attacking options, Emery is spoilt for choice.