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Arsenal have endured a worrying run of results in the Premier League recently, despite ending their hoodoo at Old Trafford at the start of November. However, their goal against Manchester United – a penalty from Pierra Emerick Aubameyang – has been their only one in their last five league games.
They have not scored from open play since an unconvincing 2-1 over Sheffield United in early October, and even the talismanic Aubameyang has looked lost in the league this season with just two goals to his name. Mikel Arteta has clearly done good things since taking over at the Emirates just under a year ago, but he seems to have sacrificed Arsenal’s attacking threat in favour of defensive pragmatism and it’s hard to see where goals are going to come from for The Gunners at the moment.
At home, Arsenal have been truly awful, winning just two of their four games at the Emirates this season and doing just about enough to get over the line against West Ham and Sheffield United. They will struggle to break down a Wolves side that rarely gives away too many opportunities and currently sits above the Gunners in the Premier League table.
Wolves will attempt to mirror Aston Villa’s tactics from before the international break when Dean Smith’s side shackled Arsenal and picked them off when they went forward. Wolves will frustrate Arsenal’s limp attack and have the tools to pick them off at the other end.
Arsenal’s troubles in front of goal are well documented, but Wolves are hardly prolific either. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have scored just nine goals in the league this season – the joint-worst record of any side in the top 16 and a record matched by an absolutely abysmal Fulham. Wolves have scored more than once on just two occasions this season and won’t go goal crazy on Sunday, even if they do manage to pull off a famous win.
Arsenal, meanwhile, also boast the joint-worst scoring record of the top 16 and have failed to score from open play in their last five league games. The two sides could very easily cancel each other out at the Emirates in a low-scoring affair.
Unsurprisingly, Raul Jimenez has proved pivotal in Wolves’ lofty league position. The Mexican striker has scored just four goals this season, but his goals have been worth five points to Wolves and they would find themselves as low as 16th without them.
He has scored vital goals home and away for Wolves this year, but has now gone three games without a goal and will be desperate to bring that mini-drought to an end against a vulnerable Arsenal side. Jimenez scored at the Emirates last season to earn Wolves a point and he may even go one better this year by sending them on their way to three valuable points that should propel them up the Premier League table.
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