Arsenal vs Wolves: Talking Tactics
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal shoots as Conor Coady of Wolverhampton closes in during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal FC at Molineux on July 04, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Arsenal cruised through to the knockout rounds of the Europa League with a 3-0 victory in Molde, but now face a trickier task as The Gunners' host Wolves at the Emirates Stadium in the late kick off.

Arsenal have struggled all season in attack, with captain Pierre-  Emerick Aubameyang not finding his usual form this season, only scoring twice so far in this campaign.

The Gunners have improved defensively this year, only Tottenham have conceded less, which is a stark difference from previous campaigns. 

  • Missing key players

Arsenal will be without Nicolas Pepe, who is serving the first of a three-game suspension following his red card against Leeds last weekend. 

Thomas Partey is also a doubt following a hamstring injury and Mo Elneny and Sead Kolasinac are also doubts following their recovery from coronavirus. 

It leaves Mikel Arteta with some crucial decisions to make in key areas of the pitch. 

Joe Willock has impressed in the Europa League has earned the chance to play in the Premier League, following his first league appearance against Leeds last weekend.

Bukayo Saka could be in contention to come into the starting XI to replace Pepe but is just himself returning from an injury and may not want to be risked by his manager.

Reiss Nelson has also impressed on his Europa League outings and also is a worthy contender for league minutes, but it is likely that it will be Willian who comes into the fold, who has kept Pepe out of the team for much of this season. 

Fans will hope that Aubameyang is kept through the middle, rather than being shifted out wide and allow Saka or Nelson to come into the fold.

  • A new formation 

Arteta dropped the “back three” formation on Thursday night, which delighted the Arsenal faithful, and opted for a more attacking 4-3-3, the formation many fans would have expected after the arrival of Thomas Partey. 

The tactic seems to suit the style and players of The Gunners more, and allows them more option in attack, something they have been lacking this season, and fans will be hoping that the boss sticks to the formation we saw in Norway, and a chance for some of the youngsters given a chance

  • Coping with the threats

Raul Jimenez is always a threat, as Arsenal found out last time the sides met at Emirates Stadium, the Mexican jumped higher than any Arsenal defender and thumped a header into the bottom corner past Bernd Leno.

The Mexican is in strong form this season, scoring four goals in nine league appearances so far and will be hoping to add to his tally against Arsenal on Sunday night.

Nelson Semedo has seriously impressed since his summer move from Barcelona, and is likely to start at right-back, on the opposite flank is Rayan Ait-Nouri who has also had an impressive start to his career in the Midlands.

Ruben Neves is also always a danger in the centre of midfield, possessing a thunderous right foot, and can always pose a threat from long range. 

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