By Giuseppe Muro
Wolves will certainly come to Emirates Stadium on a high after inflicting a first defeat of the season on Manchester United last weekend.
Worryingly for Mick McCarthy’s side, however, is their away record in the Premier League that reads: played 12, won one, drawn one, lost 10.
So what chance do Wolves have of getting a result against Arsenal? We spoke to Tim Nash of the Wolverhampton Express and Star to get a Wolves perspective on Saturday’s clash.
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
I think the win over Manchester United will give them an enormous amount of confidence. OK, it was just one result but it was a fantastic performance and a deserved victory. They played extremely well and, I have to say, they merited it. Alex Ferguson said afterwards that Wolves were the better team. They played very well, as they have done in the big games this season. Wolves have now taken four substantial scalps: United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool so there is only Arsenal and Tottenham left! They will go to the Emirates with the confidence that they can rise to the occasion, as they seem to have a habit of doing in these games.
[Their away record] needs to improve. They had a much better away record last season and I think they took as many points as any other team in the bottom half of the table. This season they have become a lot more difficult to beat at home and their away record has suffered.
CAUSE FOR CONCERN
As they proved at the Emirates last season, they can be very stubborn opponents and very difficult to break down. They have played some really good football this season but the thing that has caught them out is that they have made mistakes in crucial areas which have cost them dearly. If they can just eradicate those errors, as we saw against United, then they can upset the odds and get really good results.
BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL
The one thing Wolves do have is an incredible spirit. That is matched by a huge commitment and endeavour that no Wolves team has shown in such abundance for decades. Where they do occasionally fall short is in their quality, which sometimes manifests itself in the odd error here and there. As they proved in their last Premier League away game at Manchester City, they can give teams a scare. They led 1-0, went 4-1 down, came back to 4-3 and in the end it was Manchester City who were hanging on. Regardless of how the game goes, I’m sure they will have their moments against Arsenal on Saturday and they will give Arsenal a real test. They are still two points from safety and they have been in the bottom three for a long time. The good thing from Wolves’ perspective is that they are used to being in the bottom three and they have closed the gap significantly on the teams above them. Wolves do tend to have a habit of doing well in the second half of seasons under Mick McCarthy, they did it last season and they will be looking to do it again.
Like they did last season, I’m sure they will swamp the midfield. They have gone back to 4-5-1 in the last couple of games and you’ve got to do that against Arsenal if you have got a chance of doing anything. Going forward Arsenal can rip you apart but they will feel they can find a chink in their armour at the back.