Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Arsenal - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- Wolves refuses to go away as race for Champions League intensifies
- Arsenal has enjoyed a revival of sorts but a top-five place is surely out of reach
- Given Arsenal’s strengths and weakness, expect more goals than in Wolves’ recent games
|What||Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Arsenal|
|Where||Molineux, Wolverhampton, England|
|When||Saturday, 4 July 2020, 12.30 PM EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports|
Wolverhampton Wanderers refuses to budge. The race for the Champions League spots has heated up since the Premier League made its return last month, and Nuno Espirito Santo’s side has been content to fly under the radar. While plenty of attention has been dedicated to Manchester United’s revival and Chelsea’s mixed fortunes, Wolves has quietly amassed nine points from the last nine available.
That should not come as a surprise. Forced to begin its season before any other team due to its participation in the Europa League qualifiers, Wolves made a slow start to 2019/20. A failure to win any of its first six matches left it 19th in the table in late September, and already it looked as if improving on last season’s seventh-place finish would be too tall an order.
Yet since a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace in its sixth encounter, only Liverpool and Manchester City have accumulated more points than Wolves. It has been particularly strong in the second half of the season; indeed, since Boxing Day (and at the time of writing) Liverpool is the only side in the division that can better Wolves’ 25-point return.
Arsenal has also been pretty strong this calendar year, although you might not know it given the negativity that has surrounded the club of late. Yet Arsenal has clearly made progress since Mikel Arteta took the reins in December, and back-to-back victories (and clean sheets) against Southampton and Norwich City have lifted the Gunners back into European contention.
Eighth place could yet be enough for a spot in the Europa League, depending on the outcome of Manchester City’s appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (as things stand City is banned from continental competition for two seasons). Arsenal is starting to look up again.
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Arsenal Odds
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Wolves have kept three clean sheets on the bounce since the restart, beating West Ham United, Bournemouth and Aston Villa by an aggregate scoreline of 5-0. Its relative lack of goals is not a problem, though, as Nuno’s side has focused on getting the balance right between attack and defense.
Arteta has worked hard to do similar at the Emirates Stadium, but Arsenal is still vulnerable to costly individual errors at the back. For that reason, over 2.5 goals – a bet that would have paid out in five of Arsenal’s last seven matches in the Premier League – looks like the way to go here.
Wolves Happy for Attention to Go Elsewhere as It Mounts Champions League Push
With the fifth-place set to be sufficient for Champions League qualification if City’s ban is upheld, Wolves is in a fantastic position with six games to go. Chelsea is the only fellow top-six side it has to face before the end of the campaign, and Wolves may have already sealed its place in Europe’s foremost competition by the time that final-day encounter rolls around.
Nuno deserves a huge amount of credit for the job he has done at Molineux to date. Of course, he has been aided by the investment of Fosun International and the ownership’s links to superagent Jorge Mendes, but the Portuguese has created a serious side that has shown it is capable of crashing the elite of English soccer.
Wolves are rarely beaten heavily. A 5-2 defeat by Chelsea in September remains the only time this season it has lost a game by more than a single goal. This is a highly competitive team that does not give an inch, and that mentality could take Wolves all the way to the Champions League in 2020/21.
Arsenal Rebuilding Job Remains Sizeable but Arteta Provides Hope
Not even the most optimistic of Arsenal supporters could deny that the squad is in desperate need of renewal. It has now been over a decade since the club maintained a sustained title tilt, and it is difficult to see it competing at the very top of the division any time soon.
The outlook is certainly less bleak under Arteta, though. Pep Guardiola’s former assistant at Manchester City knows that the task at hand is a big one, but he is popular among the supporters and has shown plenty of acumen in his tenure so far. However, a third consecutive clean sheet will surely be beyond his side here.
Arsenal’s Respective Strengths and Weaknesses Will Influence Outcome
Arsenal may have kept two shut-outs in a row, but its chief weakness remains in defense – particularly when it comes up against top sides. However, its attack is a threat against any Premier League opponent, particularly when top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is fit and motivated.
With Arsenal strong at one end and considerably less so at the other, we could be treated to a Wolves game featuring more than 2.5 goals for the first time since March.
Take the Over option here – Arsenal’s games tend to feature plenty of goals and the odds on more than 2.5 are attractive.