Arsenal journey to Molineux to face Wolves on Saturday night time with the prospect to safe their standing as Premier League leaders in the course of the imminent World Cup.
Given the wintry timing (moderately than temperature) of the upcoming soccer bonanza, whoever ends the weekend in first place will maintain that lofty place on Christmas Day. Arsenal have not been high whereas tucking into the turkey since 2007 when Leon Jackson’s When You Consider was Christmas primary within the UK charts.
Here is the XI Mikel Arteta could deploy to foster the assumption of a real title tilt from the Gunners.
GK: Aaron Ramsdale – This season, Ramsdale has already saved 5 Premier League clear sheets away from residence (a division excessive), the identical tally he might muster throughout the whole thing of the earlier marketing campaign.
RB: Ben White – Whereas Gareth Southgate has seen sufficient to pick White for England’s World Cup squad, it’ll take fairly a month to match the love Arteta has for his defender. “I actually like him,” the Arsenal boss stated final weekend. “He trains each single day and he performs underneath any circumstances. I really like the boy.”
CB: William Saliba – After a consummate begin to the season, Saliba has set his sights on emulating Arsenal’s previous World Cup winners. “I need to be the following Frenchmen to try this, like [Robert] Pires or [Patrick] Vieira or [Thierry] Henry,” he stated. Why not dream huge?
CB: Gabriel – Each objective Gabriel has scored on European soil, for Lille and Arsenal, has come at a set-piece state of affairs – together with his final 11 in all competitions from corners.
LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – Vlada Zinchenko, a Ukrainian sports activities journalist married to the full-back, infamously criticised a few of Pep Guardiola’s tactical selections whereas her husband was at Manchester Metropolis. There was little trigger for criticism concerning Arteta this time period.
CM: Martin Odegaard – Carlo Ancelotti was accountable for Actual Madrid when a 16-year-old Odegaard arrived however he was not behind the switch. “Moreover, the president determined that he would play three video games with the primary crew as a public relations train,” Ancelotti wrote in his e book Quiet Management. Odegaard’s function at Arsenal definitely extends past a PR stunt.
CM: Thomas Partey – In addition to an octopus, Partey has had a picture of himself inked on his arm. Not fairly the identical assertion as a extra literal face tattoo however a daring alternative all the identical.
CM: Granit Xhaka – The Swiss midfielder has been extra cultured than combative this season however has been booked on all 4 of his earlier journeys to Molineux.
RW: Bukayo Saka – Arsenal’s 21-year-old starlet has acquired three Premier League yellow playing cards this season, but just one participant within the division has been booked for the 19 fouls Saka has acquired (per Orbinho).
ST: Gabriel Jesus – He could also be within the midst of a barren patch for Arsenal however Jesus has scored 5 objectives in his final 5 appearances in opposition to Wolves.
LW: Gabriel Martinelli – On his final go to to Molineux, Martinelli acquired one of many extra distinctive pink playing cards in Premier League historical past as Michael Oliver awarded the Brazilian two bookings within the area of 5 seconds with none stoppage between the fouls.