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Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder says his team are confident as they prepare to host Gunners



‘We fancy our chances and we are bullish’: Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder says his team are confident ahead of Arsenal test as they prepare to welcome Gunners to Bramall Lane

  • Sheffield United take on third-placed Arsenal at home on Monday night
  • The Blades have won twice and lost three as the promoted side look to stay up 
  • Unai Emery’s Arsenal have won four games and lost just once and sit in third
  • Chris Wilder says he believes his players can get something from the game  

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has promised his players will be full of confidence going into Monday night’s home clash with Arsenal.

The Blades have made a decent to the Premier League season and are 13th having picked up nine points from eight games, with two wins and a point away at Chelsea.

While Arsenal are sitting in third place, just a point behind second-placed Manchester City, Wilder believes his side can come away with a result after narrowly losing to leaders Liverpool in their last home game.

Chris Wilder's men took a point away at Chelsea and narrowly lost to league leaders Liverpool

Chris Wilder’s men took a point away at Chelsea and narrowly lost to league leaders Liverpool

‘Arsenal are an historic, iconic club and it is another brilliant fixture for us as a football club,’ he said.

‘I thought we played well against Liverpool but we need to pick up something from the game this time and we believe we can do that. We went after Liverpool when we could and picked our times, and we will do that against Arsenal.

‘We are competitive and we fancy our chances and we are bullish. At the same time, however, understanding the threat and pace and power that Arsenal have in the top end of the pitch – we must respect that.’ 

The Blades will make their return to Premier League action in front of the television cameras on Monday night, giving boss Chris Wilder extra time to finalise his plans following the international break.

The Blades are hopeful of making an impact in the league this season after being promoted

The Blades are hopeful of making an impact in the league this season after being promoted

The Blades are hopeful of making an impact in the league this season after being promoted

Injured trio John Fleck, Oli McBurnie and David McGoldrick will be given every opportunity to prove their fitness ahead of the game. McGoldrick missed Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifiers with the groin injury, while fellow striker McBurnie pulled out of the Scotland squad with a knee problem.

Meanwhile, midfielder Fleck made his Scotland debut in the defeat in Russia before also withdrawing from the squad through injury ahead of the win against San Marino.

Wilder said: ‘We’ll give them as much time as possible. They are important players for us so we will give them enough time and opportunities to be available for Monday night. 

‘We can’t take risks on them and take a big gamble of sticking them out there, that wouldn’t be fair on the fit players either.’ 

Arsenal will provide a stern test at Bramall Lane, with Unai Emery's side unbeaten since August

Arsenal will provide a stern test at Bramall Lane, with Unai Emery's side unbeaten since August

Arsenal will provide a stern test at Bramall Lane, with Unai Emery’s side unbeaten since August

Goalkeeper Dean Henderson has already returned fit and well from England duty and Wilder is hoping Republic of Ireland trio Enda Stevens, John Egan and Callum Robinson do likewise.

He said: ‘The international boys will be back in today, so fingers crossed that they come back healthy – and early indications are that they are okay.

‘We’ve talked about how proud we are that a few of our boys are involved on the international scene now and a couple of them had tough games last night for the Republic (of Ireland).

‘We want as much time to prepare as possible and playing on the Monday night does give us an extra couple of days to do that, which we need when we are coming up against a side as tough as Arsenal.’ 

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Three players Arsenal could sign in January transfer window to solve Unai Emery's problem




Arsenal have endured a poor start to the Premier League season with some fans calling for Unai Emery to be replaced as boss.

Defensive frailties have once again been the downfall at the Emirates, with Nicolas Pepe’s poor form also costing the Gunners at the other end.

Leicester City and Sheffield United sit above Arsenal ahead of their trip to play Southampton next weekend, with the Saints looking to hand them their fourth defeat in just 13 league outings.

Express Sport have now picked out three signings that could give the north London outfit the boost they need at the half-way stage of the season, but they won’t come cheap.

Dayot Upamecano

RB Leipzig’s central defender Upamecano would be make for a solid addition to Emery’s Arsenal defence.

The 21-year-old has shown his class across his three seasons in the Bundesliga since joining from their Austrian counterparts Red Bull Salzburg, and impressed in the Champions League this time out.

The France youth international was linked with moves abroad during the summer transfer window, but is likely to set any potential suitors a fee upwards of £50million.

Wilfried Zaha

With Pepe’s form showing no sign of immediate improvement at Arsenal, the Gunners could choose to inquire about the availability of Zaha.

Despite remaining a key cog in Roy Hodgson’s system at Crystal Palace, his failure to secure a move in the summer looks to have unsettled the Ivory Coast international.

The 27-year-old has failed to score and only registered one assist in his 12 outings this term, with his £70m price-tag now likely to be reduced.

Caglar Soyuncu

In what is probably the most unlikely of the three deals, Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu would be a quality addition to Emery’s playing squad.

The former Freiburg defender has been a revelation in the absence of Harry Maguire in Brendan Rodgers’ starting XI, but may be tempted with a move to the Emirates.

Turkish outlet STAR claimed earlier this week that Arsenal have been scouting the 23-year-old ahead of a possible bid, and he could make a huge impact in their attempt to move into the top four in the new year.

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Arsenal star Lucas Torreira’s agent admits Unai Emery decision has ‘not made him happy’




Arsenal boss Unai Emery has upset Lucas Torreira by playing the Uruguayan out of his natural position.

The 23-year-old has had to endure a frustrating start to this campaign as has found himself used more often as a substitute than starting games in the league.

Torreira has made 15 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this season, but has only started nine of them and has yet to play an entire game in the Premier League.

He joined the north London club for a fee of around £26million from Sampdoria last summer, following an impressive campaign with Uruguay at the World Cup.

Last season Torreira was a cornerstone of Emery’s side, as he impressed fans and pundits in his natural defensive role.

In the 2018/19 campaign he made 34 appearances in the league, of which he started 24, and the other four game he missed due to suspension and injury.

However, in Torreira’s second season at the club Emery has used the player in an advanced midfielder role, which has seen fans begin to question the Spaniard’s decisions.

Now the player’s agent has also spoken out about Emery’s tactics and claimed that Torreira is not happy being played out of position.

“Anything is possible in football,” Torreira’s agent Raffaele Bentancur said on Italian broadcaster Radio Marte

“Torreira is happy at Arsenal, although the change in role has not made him happy.”

Emery has tended to favour starting Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi in a deep lying position in his formation this season.

However, following Xhaka’s outburst against Crystal Palace and the Swiss player subsequently being stripped of the captaincy, Torreira could well find himself being moved back into his natural position.

And Emery could well use a more solid defensive structure to his side this season, as after 12 league games they have already conceded 17 goals.

In addition to this the 2-0 loss to Leicester City, before the international break, also saw Arsenal move into the position of having a minus one goal difference.

With Torreira’s minutes on the pitch being limited the player has found himself linked to a return to Serie A, with reports that AC Milan are interested in the anchor man.

However, according to Bentancur, the Gunners still see Torreira as part of their future plans.

“It must be said that this year the whole team is not doing well,” Bentancur continued.

“But I believe Arsenal wants to keep him.” 

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Arsenal hatch January transfer plan to land Denis Zakaria in Granit Xhaka swap deal




Arsenal look keen on offering Granit Xhaka to Borussia Monchengladbach for midfield sensation Denis Zakaria in return ahead of the January transfer window.

Zakaria has been in tremendous form at Gladbach this season with 17 appearances already under his belt and has attracted interest from a number of Europe’s heavy hitters.

According to the Daily Mirror, The Gunners appear to be among those suitors and look keen on approaching the German club with an offer that will see Xhaka going the other way.

The Switzerland international looks set to leave the Emirates outfit in January after falling out with a section of the fans and losing the captain’s armband.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce appears interested in signing him but the midfielder may prefer a move back to his old club at Borussia-Park.

Xhaka hasn’t played since October during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace at the Emirates.

The 27-year-old lashed out at fans in attendance who booed him while he was being substituted and as a result lost the captain’s armband, which then went to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery admitted recently that Xhaka may never play for the club again.

Emery said: “As a coach I have a responsibility for the team: we need a player like Granit Xhaka.

“But also, I don’t know if he’s going to play [for us] again.

“I don’t know because, if he is available in his mind to continue helping us and continue defending the Arsenal shirt, I think time is giving us that solution.

“Then, if I decide he is in the group with us, if he is ready and 100 per cent in his mind with the decision to help us – we have a solution.”

But Arsenal will find things difficult if they decide to join the bidding war for Zakaria.

The Switzerland international is also being targeted by the likes of Tottenham, Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

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