Arsenal at Wolves match thread: regroup and go again

Arsenal travel to Wolves looking to turn around a three-match skid that saw the club exit the Champions League and relinquish control of the Premier League title race to Manchester City. The Gunners look to be running on fumes and are struggling in the second half of matches in particular. But they’ve got to find a way to regroup, refocus, and do their best to win out in the league. Arsenal are in position to retake the top spot from City should Pep Guardiola’s side drop points between now and the end of the season.

Wolves should be on the beach. They’re safely mid-table with no chance of relegation and little chance at a European finish. We could hope for a repeat of the season finale at the Emirates last year where Arsenal went out with a flourish, pumping five past Wolves. I doubt Wolves will roll over like that in front of their home crowd, but it’s not as if they have much to play for today or the rest of this season.

Gary O’Neil’s side is pretty banged up. Matheus Cunha recently returned from two months out with an injury only to pick up a calf problem that will force him to miss out. Nelson Semedo, Craig Dawson, Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, Leon Chiwome, and Pedro Neto are all out as well. Hwang Hee-chan only has 45 minutes in his legs, and Rayan Ait-Nouri is only fit enough to make the bench.

The entire Arsenal squad was in training this week, despite a number of players carrying minor knocks. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Martin Ødegaard are all known to either be being actively managed through a longer-term niggling issue or have recently missed training because of a slight knock. Jurrien Timber, who is still working back from his ACL tear, is slated to play a game with the U23 side soon. He may make a cameo appearance or two with the first time before the end of the season. But that will only happen if his rehab appearance goes well and if Mikel Arteta can find some low-leverage minutes.

Arsenal have taken some heavy body blows in the past two weeks. It can’t be easy to recover mentally from going out of the Champions League and dropping points at home to cede control of the Premier League race. And we can see the long season and the relentless pace of matches in April has taken a physical toll, as well. Arsenal look tired.

But that’s the reality of modern football. You’ve got to find a way to recharge and refocus when the going gets tough. It’s a learning experience for Mikel Arteta and his young squad. Hopefully they picked up a few things from the stretch run last year that will enable them to find what something down deep to stay in position to pounce should City slip up. The Premier League title race is by no means over, and with the way this season has gone, it feels like there may be one more twist left in it.

Lineups:

⚪️

Kiwior starts at left-back

Trossard on the wing

Jesus up top

Let’s give it our all, Gunners pic.twitter.com/BoEye0rUj6 — Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 20, 2024

4⃣ Four changes from #NFOWOL

☝️ Chirewa makes his first start

How we line-up to take on @Arsenal.

@AstroPay_OK pic.twitter.com/BQQPS1tBXh — Wolves (@Wolves) April 20, 2024

WHAT: Arsenal at Wolves

WHERE: The Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton

WHEN: Saturday, April 20th, 11:30 am PT | 2:30 pt ET | 7:30 pm GMT

HOW TO WATCH: Broadcast on USA Network. Streaming on NBCSports.com

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