Wolves vs. Arsenal Premier League Preview & Prediction: Defensive Struggle Likely in Wolverhampton
Marc Atkins/Getty. Pictured: Granit Xhaka.
- Arsenal will take on Wolves as they look to enter the Premier League break with a hefty lead at the top.
- Will they be able to secure a victory in this fixture?
- Brett Pund offers his analysis and match prediction.
Wolves vs. Arsenal Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-128 / +106)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 2:45 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Closing out Saturday’s slate in the Premier League, Arsenal travel to the Molineux Stadium to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Gunners come into the weekend at the top of the leaderboard with 34 points, sitting just two points ahead of Manchester City.
Meanwhile, the hosts have really struggled this campaign, entering the match in the relegation zone in 19th.
There are not many goals in Wolves’ fixtures this season, and I think that continues in their final game before the World Cup.
Wolves Have Their New Manager
After the firing of Bruno Lage on October 2, the club has been without a full-time manager, but fans do not have to wait any longer on who will lead the team forward.
Wolves have confirmed the appointment of Julen Lopetegui to be the club’s next head coach. However, the former Sevilla manager will not start until after this game.
His first job will be to try to fix the sputtering attack, which ranks towards the bottom of the English top flight in expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes (1.01), big scoring chances created (16), goals per shot (0.04) and shots on target per match (3.14), according to fbref.com.
Luckily, Lopetegui does inherit a solid defense, but he will need his attack to start scoring goals if he plans to keep the club in the EPL.
Arsenal Firing on All Cylinders
There is not much negativity surrounding the Gunners this season, who could head into the World Cup break at the top of the table with a victory.
Manager Mikel Arteta has his side flying, owning a +12.9 xGDiff and averaging 1.85 xG per game. Only Manchester City have better marks in those two categories this campaign.
However, Arsenal have not been as good on the road compared to at home. Away from the Emirates Stadium this season, Arteta’s team holds an xG difference per 90 minutes of +0.35, while this same mark at home is +1.74.
The Gunners are still picking up the needed results, and they have to be dreaming of a return to the Champions League next year, if not more.
Wolves vs. Arsenal Prediction
As you would expect, FanDuel has Arsenal listed as the heavy -190 favorite on the moneyline to go along with a total of 2.5 goals. The price feels right on the visitors, but I do see value in the total.
My best bet is for the total to fall under 2.5 goals at +106.
I mentioned above how the Gunners play a different way on the road, and it shows in the totals of those games. On the road this season, the combined xG average is just 2.14 per 90 minutes, and this same play has cashed in four of seven fixtures.
Meanwhile, only six of Wolves’ 14 matches this campaign have finished with at least three goals, and the combined xG average in those fixtures is just 2.39 per game. Also, how does this team score against the stout Arsenal defense?
Arteta’s team has held opponents to just 0.86 expected goals and 1.23 big-scoring chances per 90 minutes. This doesn’t bode well for a Wolves squad that ranks toward the bottom of the EPL in multiple attacking categories.
I’ll take my chances with another low-scoring affair at the Molineux Stadium.
The Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (+106)