Here's an interesting factoid for you! By the time Wolves complete their Premier League campaign this year, their 2019/20 season will have been running for exactly 1 year and 1 day and that is not even factoring in that they are still in the Europa League that is set to recommence in August. It all began for the home team with their qualification games to get into the Europa League proper against Northern Ireland's Crusaders FC on 25th July 2019 - a happier time for us all!

While some teams and managers might complain that it has been difficult to recover from the break and find form and fitness again, I think a case could be made to say that Wolves have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the rest it offered and that had the season have continued as normal there would have been a threat that they would run out of steam given their early start. Certainly, their 3 wins in 3 games since the re-start suggest they aren't feeling too many ill effects and they find themselves in a great position to push for a Champions League spot if they can get the job done today.

Over the last couple of seasons, the one area that has prevented Wolves from achieving higher league positions is their home form. They remain a very difficult side to beat at Molineux but they've drawn 7 of their 16 games there this season and an inability to turn a couple of those matches into 3 points might ultimately cost them when you compare their home record with the 3 sides immediately above them.

Defensively they are very well organised and have the 4th best record in the league having not conceded in the 3 games they've played since the league resumed. Upfront they have the impressive Raul Jimenz who alongside a supporting cast of technically gifted midfielders is sure to give a struggling Arsenal defensive its fair share of problems today. The Traore-Jimenz partnership is the most prolific in the Premier League this season with the powerful winger having provided 7 goals for his striking colleague. Traore has mainly been used off the bench in recent games but I would expect him to play from the start today in what is a crunch match.

If Wolves home form has been patchy at times then Arsenal's away form has been shocking. The Gunners have recorded just 3 victories on their travels this season and have already lost at Man City and Brighton since the restart. The FA Cup win last weekend and then the 4-0 hammering of bottom club Norwich during the week have helped take a lot of pressure off a side that was being lambasted for its performances in the league prior to that but it's tempting to believe those results are just papering over some of the cracks that exist within this Arsenal squad.

If Arsenal harbour any hopes of sneaking a Champions League spot then a win here today is essential but with their injury problems and a host of difficult league fixtures including a North London Derby and home matches against Liverpool and Leicester before a semi-final against Man City, the chances of them getting there appear slim. It might ultimately be that the Gunners are left focusing on the FA Cup which in recent years has provided a good return in terms of silverware.

Arsenal's main threat will come from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is now joint top scorer in the league this season with 19 goals. Rumours are that he would be willing to sign a new deal at the Emirates if the price is right (a reported £250k a week for 3 years). Given how Arsenal got their fingers burnt with similar deals for Sanchez and Ozil in recent years it would be a high-risk move but at the same time can they afford to let a player of such quality leave the club?

Arsenal haven't beaten this Wolves team since they returned to the Premier League and they lost the corresponding fixture last year 3-1. Given their struggles away from home and Wolves winning streak I think the odds on a home win in this match look quite attractive.

Prediction: Wolves to win @2.33 or better


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