Wolves - Arsenal Preview: Hosts have not beaten the Gunners since 1979
The Molineux outfit have lost their last six Premier League games under interim boss Terry Connor but earned a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in December
By George Ankers
Zubar, Stearman, Bassong, Ward
Kightly, Henry, Edwards, Jarvis
Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Arteta, Song, Rosicky
Walcott, Van Persie, Benayoun
Wolves trio Jamie O'Hara, Stephen Hunt and Jody Craddock remain sidelined for Terry Connor's side as the Premier League's bottom side welcome in-form Arsenal to Molineux.
Sylvain Ebanks-Blake was preferred up front against Stoke City but Kevin Doyle may be in line for a return on Wednesday.
Richard Stearman could continue at centre-back, after moving inside to accomodate Ronald Zubar while Roger Johnson is likely to miss out again after Connor opted to replace the controversial centre-back with Karl Henry as the club's captain.
Arsenal will be sweating on the fitness of left-back Kieran Gibbs, who limped out of Sunday's win over Manchester City, and they are still without Jack Wilshere, Per Mertesacker (both ankle), Emmanuel Frimpong (knee), Francis Coquelin and Abou Diaby (both hamstring).
The Gunners will also be without centre-back Laurent Koscielny after the Frenchman picked up a suspension after he collected his 10th yellow card of the campaign against City.
Yossi Benayoun came in for the Gunners in their 1-0 victory over Roberto Mancini's sdie and Arsene Wenger is likely to stick with the 4-3-3 formation that won that game.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Wolves have lost their last six games and are the Premier League's bottom side with 22 points from 32 games.
- The hosts have conceded 70 goals so far this season - the most of any side in the Premier League.
- Behind 11-goal Steven Fletcher, Wolves' second-highest league goalscorer is winger Matt Jarvis (pictured right), who has just five.
- The Molineux outfit kept clean sheets in two of their first three Premier League games, on August 21 and 27, but have failed to keep any side out since then.
- Wolves have yet to score a league goal in the first 10 minutes of a match.
- Arsenal have won seven of their last eight matches.
- The Gunners were held to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium by Wolves on December 27, Fletcher's equaliser canceling out an early Gervinho strike.
- Robin van Persie has scored only one fewer goal in all competitions this season (33) than the entire Wolves squad has scored in the Premier League so far (34). Van Persie is 12/5 with PaddyPower to score two or more goals against Wolves.
- Arsenal have conceded five own goals in the league this term whilst Terry Connor's side have leaked just two.
- The Gunners have not lost to Wolves in any competition since September 29 1979, when they were beaten 3-2 in the old Division One. There have been 18 meetings between the two clubs since.
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Top 3 Predictions
Wolves 0-3 Arsenal FC
- 22.88 %
Wolves 0-4 Arsenal FC
- 15.97 %
Wolves 0-2 Arsenal FC
- 14.57 %
|Premier League (EPL)||11 Apr 2012||Wolves 0 - Arsenal FC 3|
|Premier League (EPL)||27 Dec 2011||Arsenal FC 1 - Wolves 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||12 Feb 2011||Arsenal FC 2 - Wolves 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||10 Nov 2010||Wolves 0 - Arsenal FC 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||3 Apr 2010||Arsenal FC 1 - Wolves 0|
|4 May 2013||Brighton & Hove Albion 2 - Wolves 0||ENG2|
|27 Apr 2013||Wolves 1 - Burnley 2||ENG2|
|20 Apr 2013||Charlton Athletic 2 - Wolves 1||ENG2|
|16 Apr 2013||Wolves 1 - Hull City 0||ENG2|
|13 Apr 2013||Wolves 1 - Huddersfield Town 3||ENG2|
|Returns:||Wolves £710.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Draw £460.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Arsenal £14.44||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|31||Dorus De Vries||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
The winger, a former Tottenham youngster, has been one of the only bright sparks for Wolves in the most recent chapter of their disastrous season. He scored against Stoke City last time out and Terry Connor will be looking to the right-sided player to bring something extra to a team bereft of confidence. Kightly's ability is not to be underestimated and he could find some joy against Kieran Gibbs, who is not yet the best defensively and positionally.
With Laurent Koscielny suspended for two games due to reaching his 10th yellow card, the Swiss is likely to be called into service at the centre of defence. Arsenal should not really have trouble scoring against the leaky Wolves back line but the hosts will be forced to go for it as they desperately search for points to stand a chance of staying up and so Djourou, who can be slightly error-prone at times, will need to have a solid match.
Wolves have run out of time for caution and will need to go for it, unconcerned by the quality of the opposition, but you feel that the Gunners should have little trouble picking them off. Arsenal are on a high, having recovered from their shock defeat by QPR in the best possible way - an overturning of Manchester City - and their attack, particularly the imperious Robin van Persie, can be expected to put daylight between the two sides.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed