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Wolves logo
Premier League | Gameweek 34
Apr 20, 2024 at 7.30pm UK
Molineux Stadium
Arsenal logo

0 - 2

Gomes (32'), Kilman (35'), Hee-chan (51')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Trossard (45'), Odegaard (90+5')
Trossard (29'), Rice (35')

Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With only the Premier League title left to fight for, Arsenal hit the road in the top flight to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday evening.

Mikel Arteta's downcast man return to domestic action on the back of a bitter Champions League exit, while their hosts reside comfortably in mid-table obscurity.

Match preview

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O'Neil reacts on April 2, 2024© Reuters

Matheus Cunha's return to the lineup could not come quickly enough for the Wolves faithful, who rejoiced in seeing the Brazilian's name in the first XI for last weekend's battle with Nottingham Forest, ending the Brazilian's two-month wait for his next Premier League start.

Cunha's most recent top-flight outing from the off saw him take home the match ball from Stamford Bridge, and while there would be no headline-making hat-trick from the South American this time around, he still made himself the Wolves hero with a pair of crucial strikes at the City Ground.

Despite moving onto double figures for the Premier League season, Cunha's efforts were only good enough for one point thanks to Morgan Gibbs-White and Danilo's contributions, stretching the hosts' winless run in all tournaments to five matches as their European dream slowly fades.

Sitting 11th in the standings with a seven-point gap to make up to seventh-placed Manchester United, Gary O'Neil's men are not out of the continental conversation entirely, but achieving a top-half finish is now the 40-year-old's overriding goal ahead of a potential scramble for his services this summer.

Now without a clean sheet in seven straight fixtures across all competitions, Wolves are also at risk of losing three consecutive home matches for the first time since September 2021 - having fallen short against Coventry City and West Ham United in recent weeks - although they have developed an affinity for shocking sides on the podium positions.

Arsenal players look dejected after being knocked out of the Champions League on April 17, 2024© Reuters

Indeed, Saturday's hosts have won their last two home games against teams beginning the gameweek in the top two of the standings - sinking Tottenham Hotspur in November and Manchester City in September - so Arsenal's recovery mission may not be as straightforward as Wolves' form book suggests.

Mikel Arteta's crestfallen troops need no added motivation to lay down a Molineux marker, though, having been left to rue a toothless attacking display in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Bayern Munich, who set up a Real Madrid semi thanks to Joshua Kimmich's second-half header.

Champions League heartbreak came just three days on from an equally alarming 2-0 Premier League home loss to Aston Villa, one which leaves their title fate out of their own hands at they sit two points adrift of Man City in second spot.

With the champions fulfilling their FA Cup semi-final commitments this weekend, though, the Gunners will return to their perch with three points against Wolves, and they head to the West Midlands with an incredible record of five clean sheets from their last five away matches in the top flight.

Never before have Arsenal recorded six straight shut-outs on the road in league action, but history could now be rewritten against a Wolves crop whom they boast five successive wins against, keeping clean sheets in each of their last two trips to Molineux.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form:

Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions):

Arsenal Premier League form:

Arsenal form (all competitions):

Team News

Arsenal's Jurrien Timber comes off injured on August 12, 2023© Reuters

No sooner was Cunha firing on all cylinders again to sustaining another fresh injury, as the ex-Atletico Madrid man is now revealed to be carrying a calf problem, which will force him to sit this one out.

Nelson Semedo is absent with a similar issue sustained in the draw with Forest, while Craig Dawson (groin), Jean-Ricner Bellegarde (knee), Leon Chiwome (ankle) and Pedro Neto (hamstring) are also confined to the infirmary.

In more bad news for the Molineux faithful, O'Neil has conceded that Hwang Hee-chan is only fit enough to play 45 minutes, while Rayan Ait-Nouri (calf) will only be considered for a place on the bench if he is given the green light.

Meanwhile, Arsenal's solitary injury concern also comes at the back, as Jurrien Timber is gradually regaining fitness eight months on from his ACL injury, but the Dutchman will not be considered for a first-team return this weekend.

Arteta can otherwise call upon every single one of his players, who did not seriously flatter to deceive at the Allianz Arena in midweek, but Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli may be candidates for the chop after uninspiring displays out wide.

Gabriel Jesus and Leandro Trossard are obvious candidates for promotion from the bench, while Thomas Partey and Jakub Kiwior should also come into Arteta's thinking given the tight turnaround from the trip to Munich.

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Sa; S. Bueno, Toti, Kilman; Doherty, Lemina, Gomes, Doyle, H. Bueno; Sarabia, Fraser

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Raya; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior; Odegaard, Partey, Rice; Saka, Jesus, Trossard

SM words green background

We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-1 Arsenal

With fresh fitness concerns rearing their ugly heads in attack, O'Neil's men will have their work cut out to breach the Premier League's defensive masters on the road, who kept Bayern at bay for the most part only to switch off for one second.

The Gunners' recent shortcomings in the final third means that a goal-laden success is surely off the cards, but a refreshed set of attacking options can penetrate a leaky Wolves rearguard at least once to reclaim their spot at the summit.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916

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