Match Preview: Wolverhampton vs Arsenal

Wolverhampton will welcome Arsenal to the Molineaux on Wednesday night for their postponed meeting of the 31st round in the Premier League.

Wolves host Arsenal on the back of a 0-0 draw against Brighton last Saturday. They play in good form at home, however, having beaten Manchester United twice at the Molineaux over the past month.

The Gunners suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday and cannot afford to drop more points as the race for a top-four finish heats up.

Arsenal have qualified for the Europa League semi-finals previously, where they’ll face La Liga side Valencia during the next week.

Team news

Wolverhampton boss Nuno Espirito Santo doesn’t have any injury concerns at the moment, which is quite remarkable for this stage of the season.

Aaron Ramsey is expected to miss the game for Arsenal, after his hamstring injury against Napoli, alongside long term absentees – Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding, and Hector Bellerin.

Granit Xhaka and Denis Suarez are classed as questionable, as both midfielders failed to make the squad in the home defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

There is at list one good news for Unai Emery, however, as Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is available for selection after completing his two-match suspension.

What did the managers say

Nuno Espirito Santo was satisfied with his team’s performance on Saturday, despite failing to win the three points against struggling Brighton.

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“It was a tough game, I think we had a lot of moments, we had a good game, good combinations, a lot of intensity. It’s not easy to break a team that is so, so well organized in the box, not allowing any spaces,” he told Wolves TV.

“I’m proud of the boys, proud of the fans, today. We hit the ball two times on the wood, many, many chances, but it was not our day and let’s be prepared for the next one.”

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery admitted his players missed a big opportunity to secure their place in top four after losing at home to Crystal Palace over the weekend.

“Yes, it’s a big frustration because it was a big opportunity,” Emery said via Arsenal’s official website.

“But we can say we had a big opportunity in the matches before today and we took a lot of points, a lot of key moments to give us the opportunity to be, now, in our way with the possibility to achieve our first target, which is to play Champions League next year.

“We can do that through the Premier League or the Europa League. Today, we lost a very big opportunity but I don’t think it changes our idea. We need to prepare for the next match against Wolverhampton. It’s in our hands because we can continue with the possibility of being in the top four if we win.”

Stats

Wolverhampton are unbeaten in their last nine home games across all competitions, noting seven wins and two draws in the process.

The Gunners have kept only one clean sheet on the road this season – it came in the 1-0 victory at Watford last Monday.

Wolves have not tasted success over Arsenal in the last 12 meetings over the past twenty years, losing all of the last five games played at the Molineaux.

None of the previous 12 meetings between Wolverhampton and Arsenal have ended in a goalless draw.

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