Saturday’s soccer game of the day comes from Molineux where Wolverhampton Wanderers aka Wolves take on Arsenal who make the journey from London to the West Midlands.
For Arsenal this game marks the start of a tricky home stretch against a team who is unbeaten since the restart and the Gunners will be seeking three points to bolster their challenge for a place in Europe next season.
Wolves however are also eyeing up a place in the elite competitions next season and enjoy a six-point lead over the visitors and are level on points with Manchester United who also play on Saturday where they host Bournemouth in an earlier kick-off so Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will be aware of what they need to do in their later kick-off.
BOTH TEAMS IN FORM
The home side have taken maximum points from their trio of fixtures since the restart, latterly beating Aston Villa 1-0; while the visitors have apparently turned a corner having won their last three following two defeats in the wake of the restart and arrive buoyed by a 4-0 thrashing of Norwich at the Emirates in midweek.
Two of those wins have come away from home, beating Southampton and Sheffield United respectively, the latter in the FA Cup Quarter-Final; while Wolves have only played at home once in their three matches since the league resumed.
FORTRESS MOLINEUX HARD TO BREACH
Despite recent results, Arsenal have had some trouble scoring away from home and have netted one or no goals in 14 of their last 20 matches; while Wolves’ rearguard has conceded one or no goals in 16 of their last 20 games, eight of which have been shut-outs.
Wolves haven’t conceded in any of their last four matches at home while Arsenal have breached the home side’s defence six times in their last six matches so will be hopeful of netting on their travels having last failed to score away from home three games ago when beaten by Manchester City in their first game back.
However they are sure to find the Wolves rearguard a stubborn and difficult unit to break down. Conversely, Arsenal’s back-line is far from watertight and they’ve conceded 28 goals away from home in their last 20 games, while Wolves have scored the same number over the same period but have conceded only 19 goals.
CARDS MARKET COULD YIELD DIVIDENDS
Arsenal have an unenviable tag of being the most ill-disciplined side in the Premier League with 68 bookings registered this campaign; Wolves don’t have the same level of bad behaviour but have collected cautions in their three games from the restart.
Wolves’ flying winger Adama Traore wouldn’t be out of place on a Gridiron pitch given his physique and he can cause all sorts of bother for Arsenal’s defence. Across the Premier League he’s contributed to a large number of bookings for the opposition rear-guard and that trend might continue.
ARSENAL HAVE HISTORICAL EDGE
The home side has found winning against the Gunners difficult and while they won this corresponding fixture last season they have also suffered heavy defeats in three of their last six home encounters. From their last 13 meetings home and away, Arsenal have beaten Wolves eight times with four draws.
Two of the last three meetings between the two sides have yielded 1-1 draws and honors even might again be the way to go in what could prove to be a cagey fixture between the two sides.
SATURDAY SOCCER TIPS BIG MATCH VERDICT
Wolves will be bidding to stretch their winning sequence since the restart to four wins from four; while the visitors will be looking to close the gap on the West Midlands side in the hunt for a place in Europe next season.
Arsenal have found the net with some regularity in recent games but come up against a stubborn home side who will be keen to register yet another shut-out. The visitors have the edge on historical meetings but lost on their last visit to Molineux although they arrive on the back of a convincing midweek win.
I expect this to be a tight affair with a smattering of yellow cards to go around; I wouldn’t be surprised if the spoils are shared at the end of ninety minutes with both teams finding the net.
BET 1: Wolves v Arsenal DRAW, both teams to score YES, over 2 cards in the match @ +600 (Bet365)
BET 2: Player to be booked: Kieran Tierney @ +350 (Bet365)
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