Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira is fit for the first time since March as the Gunners travel to Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, who are the only team in the Premier League with a 100% win record since the restart.
Midfielder Mesut Ozil is also being assessed after suffering from back soreness, whilst Bernd Leno, Gabriel Martinelli, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari all remain sidelined for the rest of the Premier League season. Wolves have no new injury concerns.
A win for Mikel Arteta’s side would see them move into 7th in the table, three points behind 6th placed Wolves, whilst their opponents would move into the top 4 with a win over the Gunners.
Wolves are yet to lose to their North London opponents since coming up to the Premier League in 2018 and the game also marks manager Nuno Espirito Santo’ 150th match in charge of the Wanderers.
Despite Arsenal’s poor opening to the restart, they have won their last three games and stand 3rd in the Premier League form table since the start of 2020, with Wolves level on points with the Gunners in 4th.
The danger men: Adama vs Aubameyang
For me, the two men that will cause the most havoc for both these teams are wingers Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, however, they will be tough to deal with for different reasons.
Aubameyang, who stands as the joint-leader in the race for the Golden boot award with Jamie Vardy, has a world-class goal scoring record for Arsenal, whether he’s playing up-front or out-wide. The Gabonese striker has 19 league goals this season and, as a result of his brace in the Gunners’ last game against Norwich City, he is now the quickest Arsenal player to reach 50 league goals in the Premier League era.
Despite his incredible numbers for Arsenal, there are still question marks over how much of an impact he has in big games, so this will be an opportunity for Aubameyang to prove the doubters wrong and show that in the tougher games, he can make a difference.
In regards to Adama, his threat is not so much goal scoring, but instead his sheer pace and power that leaves many footballers struggling to get the ball off him. According to Squawka, the winger has completed 156 dribbles in the league this season, the most out of any player, whilst he has also recorded nine assists.
Unlike Aubameyang, Adama is a man for the big occasion. This season he has scored 3 and assisted once against second place Manchester City, assisting another in the home loss against champions Liverpool.
Without doubt, whoever the unfortunate player is that comes up against Adama in this clash, whether that is Kieran Tierney or Sead Kolasinac, they will have an almighty task stopping him. Whilst Kolasinac could hope his strength will help him, Adama will be past him before he gets close. On the contrary with Tierney, the Scot would hope his pace would prevent the Spaniard from passing, however, he would then struggle to shove him off the ball.
Adama has a perfect mix of speed, physicality and superb dribbling that makes him the perfect ball carrier for any side, and he is certainly someone who Arteta will be wary of. His threat is also shared with striker Raul Jimenez, who has been the grateful recipient of multiple crosses from the Spaniard this season.
Overall, with it seeming likely both teams will continue with their three-at-the-back formations, it will be the wing-backs who will be busy keeping these two as quiet as possible. However, as both of them showed in the previous fixture, that’s far easier said then done, with Aubameyang scoring and Adama creating chances that should really have seen Wolves take all three points.
The game kicks off at 5:30pm BST and will be shown live on Sky Sports for UK viewers.