WOLVES host Arsenal on Saturday evening. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) shares his thoughts on the Premier League encounter.
Wolves vs Arsenal | Saturday 4th July 2020, 17:30 | Sky Sports
There’s only two places separating these two but in my eyes one side has been far more impressive and that is Wolves.
Nuno Espirito Santo has done a superb job at Molineux, considering they’ve had to negotiate a Europa League campaign as well with a relatively thin squad compared to others in the competition. It’s major kudos to the set up there, preparation and recovery looks to have been immaculate given their lack of injuries compared to the amount of games played.
It must be almost a full year now since the Old Gold started their 2019/20 season with the Europa qualifiers, yet they continue to be competitive at a minimum in all games they’re involved in. Serious team.
What’s even more startling is they actually get better the more the game drags on. If it wasn’t for their phenomenal second half form they’d be down at the bottom end of the table. Unbelievably, Wolves of all teams, are bottom of the first-half table. It’s therefore no surprise they are right up there with Manchester City and Liverpool in the second-half table.
Nuno has been able to bring on speedster Adama Traore, the ultimate gamechanger, and that has given them a different dimension to their game. He’s such a useful player but so niche in the fact he’s probably more useful coming on in the second half against tired defences. It will be interesting to see if he gets a starting berth on Saturday evening. Both these points will factor into my bets but more on that later.
Arsenal fans were buzzing with their 4-0 win of rock bottom Norwich, a game I’m personally loathed to look too deeply into that. Norwich have been an utter shambles upon the restart and Arsenal have long have a strong record at cruising past the lesser lights at the Emirates. Away is where the majority of their problems lie, it’s just three wins on the road in the league this season, against Newcastle, West Ham and a poor home side in Southampton.
The Gunners have been unconvincing on the data too, struggling at both ends of the pitch – compared to the rest of the elite they are miles off. I think their price of 12/5 is warranted. I can’t really say Wolves are a fantastic price either at 13/10. Although they’ve been in good form their home form against the better sides isn’t remarkable, it includes an awful lot of draws.
In fact, these two have drawn the most games in the league with 13 a piece. If I was going for an outright I’d be backing the stalemate at the prices, 12/5 is on offer from Bet365 and I’d make it a touch shorter all things considered.
The betting angles
However, I’m going to plump for a few bigger prices and keep stakes relatively low. Firstly, the 9/1 available on Arsenal to be leading at half time but not to win the game looks worth a few quid.
We’ve mentioned the hosts’ shoddy first half showings and Arsenal could’ve had a boost in confidence at the top of the pitch with the four goals midweek. However, Wolves should be backed to get right back into the game later on as an Arsenal side who’ve had a barrage of games tire.
I’ll also dip into the cards market and it would be rude not to back the left back for Wolves’ opposition to pick up a caution. That should be Kieran Tierney here and he’s best price 11/2 with Betway for a card.
It’s kind of a blind bet for me on the left backs vs Wolves at anything over 3/1 and he’s over double that. He will be coming up against Traore at some point here and the winger has been fouled resulting in a card upon 23 occasions this season.
Tierney is a rare ‘likes to get stuck in’ Arsenal player and he’s picked up two cards in just seven starts in the league. He may play as a wing back but don’t let that put you off. Adama likes to start his runs from deep to make the most of his electric acceleration and many wingers have also taken a card for fouls against him.