Arsenal – Wolverhampton Wanderers: Emery’s experimentation leaves Arsenal wanting as Nuno’s side claw back to take a point (1-1)
For any top six team, facing Wolves is usually a tough prospect. This may be even more true for a side such as Arsenal, whose struggles were on show despite a new-look midfield. The visitors gave them a helping hand in the first half, but the second half only amplified what Arsenal lacked as the game wore on.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
With just one win in their last four league games, Unai Emery has returned to the firing line ahead of a must-win clash against Wolves – a side who they have yet to beat since their return to the top flight.
With things becoming a bit stale within Arsenal’s attack, the manager made some quite drastic systemic changes, which included bringing Mesut Özil back into the fold for the first time since mid-September, for only his second start of the Premier League season. At the same time, following last week’s incident with the fans, Granit Xhaka – who had featured in nine of the opening ten league games – was left out of the squad, which ended up seeing the Spaniard field a 4-2-2-2 formation.
It has certainly taken some time for Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves to find their bearings again, with the Europa League to contend with this season, but their recent form might suggest things have begun to fall their way – at least more so than at the very beginning of this campaign. The Portuguese coach fielded the exact same lineup in last week’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle United, which shaped up as a 3-4-3, seeing Adama Traor . . .