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Arsenal v Wolves preview: duo ruled out, Ramsey axed by Emery + prediction

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Arsenal welcome Wolves to the Emirates Stadium this afternoon looking for a win to keep in touch at the top of the table.

Tottenham’s narrow win at Crystal Palace yesterday means we’re now four points off the top four so we have to beat Wolves this afternoon or risk being cut adrift from the Champions League qualification places.

We warmed up for the game with a dour 0-0 draw with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night. The result secured safe passage to the knockout stages of the Europa League but the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to Danny Welbeck.

While the draw wasn’t the result we wanted, it did extend our unbeaten run to 15 games in all competitions so the squad will be full of confidence as we prepare to welcome newly-promoted Wolves to north London.

The Midlands club started the season in great form but they’ve struggled in recent weeks and lost 3-2 at home to Tottenham last time out so boss Nuno Espirito Santo will be desperate to get back on track with a positive result today.

Team News

Welbeck is facing an extended spell on the sidelines with a suspected broken ankle while we also lost Stephan Lichtsteiner on Thursday night after he limped off with a hamstring injury.

Nacho Monreal is unlikely to be risked today after only recently returning to training from a hamstring injury while Mo Elneny remains out with a thigh problem. Laurent Koscielny is working his way back to fitness and could be back in contention after the international break.

Emery is set to recall a number of players with the likes of Hector Bellerin, Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette coming back in after being rested in midweek.

Wolves will hand a late fitness test to Jota but otherwise they have a fully-fit squad to choose from – which must be nice!

Preferred line-up

Sokratis returned on Thursday and I hope he keeps his place in the middle of defence and I’d like to see Rob Holding playing alongside him as he’s been solid recently. Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin should start in the full-back positions.

I was disappointed with Aaron Ramsey’s performance in midweek as he failed to take his chance to show Emery he deserves a regular starting spot. The Welshman is expected to be axed this afternoon and it’s hard to make a case that he deserves to start ahead of Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka or Mesut Ozil right now.

Obviously Alexandre Lacazette should replace Welbeck up front while I’d go with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi on the wings with Henrikh Mkhitaryan dropping out.

football formations

Wolves XI:  Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny; Costa, Jimenez, Cavaleiro

Predicted Score

Arsenal are on a fine unbeaten run having not tasted defeat since mid-August and we haven’t lost to Wolves in our last 19 meetings, and I don’t see that record being under threat today. Wolves have struggled to score all season so this is a good opportunity for our to secure another clean sheet. I’m going for a 2-0 home win with Lacazette to get on the score-sheet.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Wolves



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Selling Aubameyang debate shows something has gone very wrong at Arsenal

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There is an argument that now is the right time to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and use the money raised to bring in new players.

Arsenal, it is being argued, can replace Aubameyang within its ranks with the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah primed to play in his role in the event he is sold.

What utter nonsense.

Not the proposal, that on the face of it does make sense but the idea that it has to be Aubameyang sold to raise funds that is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion.

When a club is unable to sell its deadwood and instead have to offload its top scorer then you know something has gone badly wrong somewhere.


Selling players to raise funds is normal transfer business, Liverpool sold Coutinho, Tottenham sold Bale, Man Utd sold Ronaldo and so on but each time they were forced to do that in the face of massive offers and the respective players desire to leave.

That is not the case with Aubameyang.

Arsenal has a ton of players that are simply not up to scratch, their names are so common I do not even have to name them but it is the Golden Boot winner that is being mooted to be sold.

Our top-six rivals have no issues selling their fringe players and for the most part, getting a decent transfer fee in return and yet, for some reason, Arsenal struggle to do the same.

If we sell Auba and keep the likes of Mustafi I would be utterly speechless and the sad thing is, I would not be surprised if that actually happens.


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Video: Joris Gnagnon horrific tackle on Liverpool’s Yasser Larouci

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Sevilla’s Joris Gnagnon was sent-off in the overnight pre-season friendly against Liverpool are a horror tackle on Reds left-back Yasser…

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Video: Frank Lampard jogs 9km from training to the hotel

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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has been giving his players an indication of what he expects in terms of fitness levels this season by jogging back from…

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