Wolves’ latest chance to end their poor run of form comes on Tuesday as they host an Arsenal side who have rediscovered their mojo in recent weeks.
Nuno’s side extended their winless league run to eight games on Saturday as Eberechi Eze’s powerful strike saw Wanderers succumb to a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Arsenal have bounced back from a poor end to 2020 and are now seven league games unbeaten after drawing 0-0 with Manchester United at the Emirates on Saturday evening.
Kick-off at Molineux is at 6pm on Tuesday and the game will be broadcast on BT Sport.
Just as Wanderers looked to have got back to their efficient, solid selves at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, their good work was undone as they went down without a fight to Crystal Palace.
Nuno’s side failed to register an attempt on goal in a tepid first half, and were only slightly better in the second period. Following Eze’s fierce strike in the 60th minute, Wolves struggled to create chances despite having Adama Traore, Willian Jose, Fabio Silva and Pedro Neto on the pitch.
After performing so negatively in defeat to a team they had beaten three times in the last six months, many Wolves fans are wondering where the next win is coming from. While the form of Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United is bad enough to maintain a healthy gap to the bottom three, there are now just two points separating Brighton in 17th and Wolves three places higher.
With every winless game that passes, the pressure on Nuno’s position increases. While many fans still believe that he has enough credit in the bank from previous successes, a growing minority see a lack of good results and attractive football that doesn’t look like changing any time soon.
To ease the anger and anguish about Wolves’ current position, Nuno and his team must ensure their winless run ends in either of the two upcoming home games this week.
Following a seven-game winless run at the end of 2020, which included a 2-1 defeat to Wolves at the Emirates, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal looked to be sliding towards the bottom three at an alarming rate.
However, since a 3-1 win over Chelsea on Boxing Day, the Gunners have looked back to their best,and are currently on a seven-game unbeaten league run, including five wins, that looks to have lifted them away from any relegation danger.
Arteta’s side followed up an impressive win at St. Mary’s last midweek with a 0-0 draw against Manchester United on Saturday, although their 17 shots saw them have enough chances to snatch three points at the Emirates.
Alexandre Lacazette has impressed in the Gunners’ resurgence and has picked up five goals in his last seven league games, while youngsters Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe have also impressed after being handed a run in the first team.
Wolves v Arsenal team news
After missing the trip to Selhurst Park with a knock, Wolves will be sweating on the fitness of Romain Saiss, who had looked one of the side’s biggest goal threats prior to picking up an injury at Chorley.
Rayan Ait-Nouri looks set to miss the game after being injured against Chelsea, while Marcal, Jonny and Raul Jimenez remain Wolves’ longer-term absentees.
Ruben Neves should return to the starting XI after being dropped for Joao Moutinho in South London, while Adama Traore could also start.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will miss the game after returning to Gabon to deal with personal issues, while Pablo Mari, Dani Ceballos and back-up goalkeeper Mat Ryan are also expected to be absent.
However, key men Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka could return after missing Saturday’s goalless draw.
Wolves line up prediction: Patricio; Boly, Coady, Kilman; Hoever, Neves, Dendoncker, Semedo; Traore, Jose, Neto.
Wolves v Arsenal head to head
Despite winning at the Emirates in November, Wolves have, perhaps understandably, a woeful record over Arsenal in recent history.
A 3-1 win in April 2019 was Wolves’ first over the Gunners since 1979, totaling 20 winless games in league and cup.
The last meeting at Molineux came in July, where Arsenal dented Wolves’ Champions League prospects by winning 2-0. How long ago those days seem now…
Wolves v Arsenal prediction
With a team in form against the league’s worst side over the last eight games, this one is pretty easy to predict.
Wolves are now statistically on their worst league run of Nuno’s three-and-a-half years in charge, and it doesn’t look like changing any time soon. Games against Burnley, Brighton, West Brom and Crystal Palace have come and gone while Wolves’ winless run has grown and grown.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have picked up impressive away wins at Southampton, West Brom and Brighton in recent weeks, and are comfortably beating sides they would have probably lost to in their barren run of November and December.
Nuno’s Wolves do tend to pick up results when you least expect them to, but the contrasting form of both sides is too much to look past here. Arsenal win.
Prediction: Wolves 0-2 Arsenal