Arsenal need to put the past week behind them and focus on three points at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday when we host an in-form Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Last weekend we blew a two-goal lead to draw at home to Crystal Palace, with the game starting a lot of off the field issues with captain Granit Xhaka. That was followed up by throwing away another two-goal lead twice before losing to a very young Liverpool side on penalties in the EFL Cup.
Unai Emery has now been given the tough task of lifting our players’ spirits in order to get back to winning ways and keep in touch with both Leicester City and Chelsea, whom currently occupy the final two Champions League spots.
The good news for the boss is that we have a virtually fully fit squad for Emery to choose from. Youngster Reiss Nelson is the only absentee, whilst both Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney look close to full match fitness now.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sead Kolasinac and Joe Willock all picked up knocks midweek but I wouldn’t expect either of them to start this weekend.
Wolves will be without Willy Boly. The centre-back is sidelined with a shin injury. And one of his partners in their usual back three, Ryan Bennett, has a groin injury. This offers a big boost to our attack.
I think we’ll see both Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney starting in the full-back roles now they are both back up and running.
Emery has a big call on whether to start Granit Xhaka this weekend. And should the Swiss international start, is he deserving of wearing the captain’s armband after this past week? It would not be a popular decision for the home faithful. I think we’ll see Lucas Torreira come in for a rare Premier League start this season, and Dani Ceballos replacing Mesut Ozil in a midfield three.
Alexandre Lacazette is ready to start up front, pushing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out to the left wing.
Arsenal really need to get back to winning ways this weekend but I have a bad feeling Wolves are going to stifle us. Our midfield isn’t giving the defence a great deal of protection and the defence itself is poor.
Nicolas Pepe is yet to deliver the goods in the Premier League, whilst Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks. Alexandre Lacazette is only recently back from a few weeks on the sidelines.
Wolves played very well at the Emirates last season and whilst they’re not flying as high as they were back then, they’ve found their form again in recent weeks. So I am going to go for Arsenal 1-1 Wolves.