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Wolves vs Arsenal predictions: Gunners to secure top spot
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Dan Sait
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Julen Lopetegui may be a positive appointment for Wolves but he may see the size of the task ahead against Arsenal
Julen Lopetegui may be a positive appointment for Wolves but he may see the size of the task ahead against Arsenal

- Wolves hoping to impress new boss Lopetegui but remain toothless in attack
- Arsenal have kept clean sheets in all five PL away wins this season
- Recommended bet: Arsenal to win to nil

New Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui will be watching from the Molineux stands as interim boss Steve Davis leads Wanderers out for the final time — but it could be a tough send-off for Davis and stark demonstration of the task that lies ahead.

Arsenal arrive as league leaders with the bit between their teeth as second-placed Manchester City are refusing to take their foot off the gas.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will be desperate for a victory in the West Midlands that will guarantee they go into the mid-season break top of the Premier League.

They could wish for few more compliant opponents than Wolves.

The hosts are not quite at rock-bottom as they were a few games ago, with a couple of decent results and last weekend’s battling display in defeat to Brighton giving some cause for optimism.

But taking on the league leaders is a different challenge altogether, and is one Davis looks set to fail in his final match at the Wolves helm.

Team news

Davis is still struggling for options in the final third, with many of his attackers injured and centre-forward Diego Costa serving the last game of his three-match suspension.

Winger Chiquinho has had knee ligament surgery and will be out until the end of the season, and striker Sasa Kalajdzic will be out for a similar length of time with his own knee injury.

Fellow striker Raul Jimenez is in a race to be fit for the World Cup but is not yet ready, while winger Pedro Neto will not be back until after Christmas.

Midfielder Matheus Nunes is rated 50/50 to return from a shoulder injury but full-back Jonny is highly likely to miss out.

Mikel Arteta has a nearly fully-fit Arsenal squad to choose from, with only midfielder Emile Smith Rowe and defender Takehiro Tomiyasu unavailable through injury.

The stats

Wolves have picked up seven points from three meetings with fellow bottom four teams, but their record in the other 11 outings is appalling.

The West Midlands side have lost eight of those games and the three draws they did collect — at home to Newcastle and Fulham and away at Brentford — have each contained an element of fortune.

Wolves’ opponents recorded between 0.6 and 1.0 greater expected goals ratings in all three draws, with Wanderers slightly lucky to get a point each time.

Davis' men have also struggled to convert the few chances they have created — no other Premier League team has scored as few goals as Wolves’ eight and Wanderers have failed to score in half of their league outings this term.

Arsenal have won 11 of their 13 matches this season and have kept clean sheets in all five away wins, including an impressive 1-0 victory at Chelsea in their most recent Premier League outing.

Mikel Arteta has guided Arsenal to the best away record in the Premier League so far
Mikel Arteta has guided Arsenal to the best away record in the Premier League so far

Prediction

While the Wolves players may be boosted by the appointment of  Lopetegui and showed signs of raising their game to impress their new manager at home to Brighton last weekend, they still lost 3-2.

And while Brighton are a very good team, Arsenal are even better and should have fewer problems blunting a Wolves attack that is severely hampered by injury and suspension.

The Gunners have managed to keep cleans sheets in winning three of their last four league outings and Arsenal to again win to nil at 13/10 — available with LiveScore Bet — looks a sensible approach.

Tags

Wolverhampton WanderersArsenalPremier League
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