ARSENAL host Wolves on Sunday night. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB ) is on-hand to preview the match-up.
Arsenal vs Wolves | Sunday 29th November 2020, 19:15 | Sky Sports
Arsenal’s European and domestic form couldn’t be more contrasting as a comfortable 3-0 victory over Molde on Thursday evening chalked up their 12th goal from four Europa League group games and maintained their 100% record in the competition.
However, the likes of Dundalk don’t tend to swim in the Premier League pool where the Gunners are most definitely misfiring.
The goalless draw at Leeds last weekend was their fifth league game without scoring from open play, a sequence stretching back to 4th October, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s match winning penalty at Old Trafford the only time they have found the net in that run.
Wolves will be looking to inflict a third successive home defeat on their hosts and in doing so make it a trio of Midlands clubs to leave The Emirates with all three points, following on from most recent visitors Leicester and Aston Villa. If achieved that would be the first time Arsenal have suffered such an unwanted hat-trick since 1908!
To make matters worse for Mikel Arteta, he has some serious selection headaches to contend with, with the injured Thomas Partey, suspended Nicolas Pepe and asymptomatic Saed Kolasinac definitely out and the likes of Bukayo Saka, David Luiz, Mohamed Elneny and Willian all facing late fitness tests.
In contrast, Nuno Espirito Santo should be able to welcome the previously self-isolating Conor Coady back in to his starting XI after missing the 1-1 Monday night draw with Southampton.
The England defender was noticeably missed that night and not just for his defensive work but arguably more so for his organisational abilities and proficiency in starting his sides attacks with his fine range of passing.
These two sides have identical records in the goals column with nine goals for and 10 against, and have managed just 64 shots on target (30 for Arsenal, 34 for Wolves) between their combined 18 league games, an average of just 3.5 per-match!
When you consider a massive 20 of Wolves’ last 23 games have seen Under 2.5 Goals it is no wonder to see that particular bet priced up at a best priced 4/6 here – but equally it looks a near certainty to me. In which case I am going to make it the foundation of a two-leg Bet Builder with Bet365 and even have an extra goal for security.
The betting angles
To bring us a double your money shot I am going to add in Wolves Double Chance. One of the key talking points at the moment is the workload on players – brought even more in to the spotlight by Jurgen Klopp’s TV rant at the broadcasters at Brighton.
I feel the clear midweek for the visitors, giving a five-day prep time for this clash could prove vital and although I like their outright win price of 11/4, as Nuno himself admits their performances haven’t been up to last season’s standards – albeit enough to place them 10th in the table, some four places ahead of their hosts.
It’s not often I put forward an odds-on shot in these previews – but I am going to make an exception by picking Ruben Neves to have two or more shots – priced up at 4/5 with Ladbrokes.
The Portugal international has fired in 16 shots for his side so far this season, second only to much admired lone striker Raul Jiminez and his blank in the aforementioned draw with Southampton was the first time he hadn’t had an attempt in a match since his opening day substitute appearance at Sheffield United.
In fact, the 23-year-old has managed at least two shots in each of the games in between with his stats reading 2-3-2-2-2-2-3 which include games against Manchester City and Leicester as well as an eight-minute cameo at Leeds.
In this fixture last season, which ended 1-1, Neves had four attempts and had his second shot in the 26th minute – easy work, he also had two shots in the fixture the last time these two met in July at Molineux although we did have to wait until midway through the second half on that occasion.
For those of you prepared to take a little extra risk you can play 2+ shots outside the box at odds of 10/11 – of those 16 total shots, Neves has fired 13 from beyond the 18-yard-line. We have comfort in the unlikely event of Neves not starting Ladbrokes will void our bets.
So, with the bombshell of an odds-on shot out of the way let me end with something a little juicier.
Wanderers always look a threat from set-piece situations with a combination of the aforementioned Neves plus fellow Portuguese stars Joao Moutinho and Pedro Neto providing the ammunition via their wicked deliveries.
One man who catches the eye as being likely to get on the end of such service is 6”2’ inch, Leander Dendoncker and with the possibility of a makeshift Arsenal defence this could be a great opportunity for the big Belgian to score his first goal of the season.
The 25-year-old has managed seven shots from his eight league appearances, recording at least one in each of his last three games including three in the fixture against Crystal Palace.
Checking Dendoncker’s xG rating for the season we see it is 1.38 so he is overdue getting off the mark and if he can exploit some old aerial weakness in the Gunners backline, Sunday could be the night.
With that in mind, I am going to take a small play on Dendoncker to score a header with Sky Bet at odds of 40/1. Unlike Ladbrokes, Sky DO NOT void bets on players who do not start, only players who take no part in the game, so please consider that when deciding to place your bet early or wait for team news.