Arsenal v Wolves

11 February 2011 12:03
Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby begins a three-match suspension following his sending off at Newcastle last weekend.Alex Song and Johan Djourou are both expected to overcome injuries, while Denilson is fit to play.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy could field the starting XI that ended Manchester United's unbeaten record.

Loan signing Jamie O'Hara is likely to retain his place, although Stephen Hunt could overcome a calf strain in time to return to the squad.



Arsenal

Suspended: Diaby (three matches)

Doubtful: Djourou (knee), Song (thigh)

Injured: Fabianski (shoulder), Frimpong (knee), Nasri (hamstring), Vermaelen (Achilles)

Wolves

Doubtful: Hunt (calf)

Injured: Guedioura (broken leg), Kightly & Mancienne (both knee)



MATCH PREVIEW These two sides were the headline makers on a record-breaking Premier League weekend, but it is making headway that matters to Arsenal and Wolves.

When we landed at Luton, we all put on our phones and had a little check [for the Wolves v Man Utd result]. Everybody had grins on their faces. It changed the mood Arsenal's Theo Walcott Both improved their respective causes last Saturday, albeit with contrasting emotions.

Arsenal's torment on Tyneside, when they became the first Premier League team to squander a four-goal lead, was eased a few hours later when Manchester United's unbeaten run was thrown to the Wolves.

It ensured Arsenal actually narrowed the gap on the leaders to four points, while Wolves are now only two points from safety at the other end of the table.

Wolves have gleaned 19 of their 24 points this season against top-half opposition and their last three victories have come against Liverpool, Chelsea and United. However, they have mustered a mere four points on their travels and not avoided defeat at Arsenal since 1980.



MATCH FACTS Head-to-head

• Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 16 meetings with Wolves in all competitions (W14, D2), which includes seven straight league victories.

• The last time Wolves beat Arsenal was a 3-2 top-flight triumph in September 1979.

Have your say on this match Arsenal

• This is Arsene Wenger's 550th Premier League game as Arsenal manager. He has won 322 of those matches, drawn 137 and lost 90. Only Manchester United have earned more points since Wenger took charge in September 1996.

• Prior to letting in four goals in the last 22 minutes at Newcastle last Saturday, Arsenal had conceded only once in five league matches.

• They are unbeaten in their last eight league matches (W5, D3).

• The Gunners have the best top-flight record against clubs currently in the bottom half of the division, winning 12 of 14 matches and scoring 36 goals. Their only defeat was 3-2 at home to West Brom in September.

• Robin van Persie has scored eight goals in six Premier League matches in 2011 - more than any other player.

Wolves

• Victory over Manchester United ended a three-match losing streak, and Wolves have now won five of their last 11 league matches.

• Six of their seven victories this season have come against top-half-of-the-table opposition.

• Mick McCarthy has lost all five previous Premier League matches against Arsenal as both Sunderland and Wolves manager.

• Kevin Foley has made 299 club starts.



LEADING GOALSCORERS

Arsenal

Nasri: 14 goals (9 league); Walcott: 11 goals (7 league)



Wolves

Fletcher: 6 goals (4 league); Doyle: 6 goals (3 league)



MATCH OFFICIALS Referee: Chris Foy

Assistant referees: Darren Cann & Gary Beswick

Fourth official: Mick Russell



LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS Arsenal (D4-4 v Newcastle, a): Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou (Squillaci 48), Clichy, Walcott (Eboue 79), Wilshere, Diaby, Fabregas, Arshavin (Rosicky 69), van Persie. Subs not used: Almunia, Gibbs, Chamakh, Bendtner.

Wolves (W2-1 v Manchester United, h): Hennessey; Zubar, Stearman, Berra, Elokobi, Henry, Milijas (Ebanks-Blake 88), Hammill (Ward 64), O'Hara (Foley 59), Jarvis, Doyle. Subs not used: Hahnemann, Edwards, Craddock, Fletcher.

Source: BBC_Sport