After suffering a hiccup against Crystal Palace as they bid for the top four, the Gunners travel to Molineux for a potentially difficult test
Arsenal face a tricky trip to Wolves on Wednesday as they seek to get their Premier League top-four hopes back on track.
Stunned 3-2 by Crystal Palace on Sunday, Unai Emery’s men have fallen one point behind Chelsea in the race for the top four, while they have also lost ground on Tottenham, who are four clear of them, albeit both their London rivals have played a game more.
Wolves, meanwhile, could yet finish in the European spots if results fall for them, although they have stumbled upon harder times of late, with just one win in their last five games.
Arsenal have been notoriously poor away from home this season but really need to find their best form for this clash.
|Game||Wolves vs Arsenal|
|Date||Wednesday, April 24|
|Time||7:45pm BST / 2:45pm ET|
In the United States (US), the game can be streamed via NBC Sports Gold.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||NBC Sports Gold|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be shown on TV or be available to steam.
|UK TV channel||Online
|Goalkeepers||Rui Patricio, Ruddy, Norris|
|Defenders||Doherty, Bennett, Boly, Coady, Jonny, R. Vinagre, Kilman|
|Midfielders||Neves, Gibbs-White, Jota,
|Forwards||Cavaleiro, Jimenez, Costa|
Wolves have no injury or suspension worries for Wednesday’s fixture. They have made one change from a scoreless draw with Brighton at the weekend, with Leander Dendoncker returning to the midfield.
Wolves starting XI: Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Jimenez, Jota
|Goalkeepers||Cech, Leno, Iliev|
|Defenders||Koscielny, Lichtsteiner, Monreal, Mustafi, Jenkinson, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Sokratis|
|Midfielders||Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Xhaka, Torreira, Ozil, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Guendouzi, Willock, Saka|
|Forwards||Aubameyang, Lacazette, Nketiah|
Aaron Ramsey continues to be the headline injury problem for Arsenal, with the hamstring injury he suffered against Napoli in the Europa League having possibly ended his Gunners career.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also missing for the Gunners, having undergone a sinus procedure.
Denis Suarez is out with groin trouble, while Granit Xhaka has passed a late fitness test.
Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin are all long-term absentees, but Sokratis’ return after a two-game suspension is a boost, with Shkodran Mustafi heading to the bench.
Arsenal starting XI: Leno; Monreal, Sokratis, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles; Torreira, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi; Lacazette
Arsenal are marginal 13/8 favourites to win with bet365 . Wolves can be backed at 7/4 while a draw is priced at 13/5.
Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery knows that his side are approaching a decisive period of the campaign but is confident that his players will be able to rise to the challenge.
A lacklustre weekend display saw the Gunners suffer a 3-2 home loss to Crystal Palace, with Shkrodan Mustafi in the firing line for a defensive performance described by club legend Martin Keown as “schoolboy”.
Emery, though, insists that his side remain well placed to secure Champions League football next season.
“We have it in our hands. At the beginning of the season, after winter, we struggled in the table. We were in a worse position than we are now,” he argued.
“Wednesday night is a big moment, match and challenge for us. We are playing away at a team that feels strong with their supporters. It’s a good moment to try to do all we can, with intelligence.”
Positioned 10th in the table, Wolves could still conceivably finish as high as seventh, which may be enough for a place in next season’s Europa League.
The Molineux club, however, have stumbled in recent weeks. Only two wins have come from their last nine matches, against lowly Cardiff but also against Manchester United.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have had a habit of raising their game for the big occasion, as Arsenal well know, having been forced to equalise four minutes from time at the Emirates to secure a share of the points earlier this season.
Curiously, they have lost only three times against the ‘Big Six’ so far this season – the same number of defeats they have suffered against the clubs in the relegation zone.
Indeed, with 13 points claimed against the top clubs, they have a record superior to anyone else in the league with the exception of league-leading duo Liverpool and Manchester City.
Nevertheless, Nuno refuses to play down the test that awaits his side in this encounter.
“When we look at Arsenal, we know they are a very strong team with good players and a good manager and it’s a tough challenge, but we are ready for it,” he said. “The strength of Arsenal is their team, the movements, the ideas they have. They are very good.”
If Arsenal are to win on Wednesday, they will have to overcome opponents who have won seven of their last nine home matches in all competitions. Such a result would be a terrific springboard for the climax of the campaign.
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