By Nick Teale
Having gained promotion from the Championship last season, Wolves started the season in reasonable form.
But they dropped into the relegation zone during an eight-game winless run which stretched from September to December. Since then they have never been safe from the drop but a run of four matches without defeat has put a five-point gap between Mick McCarthy's side and the bottom three.
They have collected 16 points on the road this term - the same number of points picked up at Molineux. Ahead of their trip to Emirates Stadium we caught up with Wolverhampton Express and Star reporter Tim Nash to talk form, tactics and controversial team selections.
THE STORY SO FAR
"They have played extremely well recently and have taken eight points from their last four games. You can trace the improvement back to when they switched formation to 4-5-1 and got a goalless draw against Liverpool. They have come through some tough tests in that time and have been playing very well."
"Collectively and individually they have a real base to build from at the back. They are playing good football too and that is in their nature. They keep possession extremely well. The 4-5-1 formation has enabled them to soak up pressure and hit teams on the counter-attack, so they play the same away as they do at home."
BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL
"There is confidence at Wolves. It has only markedly eroded twice this season. Arsenal were involved on the last occasion back in November when they conceded four goals to the Gunners and also to Chelsea. The other occasion was at the end of November when they lost at home to Birmingham and the supporters and possibly even the players had a confidence crisis and believed it would be a long, hard relegation battle from there on in. But that hasn't proved to be the case."
THE MAN IN CHARGE
"Mick McCarthy won't be resting any players this weekend. He had his fingers burnt when he did that at Old Trafford earlier in the season. But I think he feels far too much was made of that and eight of the team who played against Manchester United figured in the win at West Ham United recently."
IMPRESSIONS OF ARSENAL
"McCarthy was saying at his pre-match press conference that if there is any advantage to be had by Arsenal's injury concerns then he would be happy to take that. But he stressed that he wouldn't wish injury on anybody. With the quality of the players Arsenal will be missing I think it could have an effect on them. Having said that, Arsenal have an extensive squad of talent. As far as a team like Wolves are concerned, it might not make a massive difference."
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