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Arsenal predicted line-up for huge Premier League clash with top four rivals Wolves


Arsenal take on Wolves in what could be a defining fixture in the race for the top four as just two points separate the teams going into the tie.

The Gunners boosted their chances of Champions League qualification earlier this month when they made the trip to the Molineux and came away with all three points courtesy of Gabriel’s first-half goal.

Following their victory, Mikel Arteta’s men were overjoyed and opted to celebrate with the travelling Gunners faithful – much to the annoyance of some of Wolves’ key players.

Both Ruben Neves and captain Conor Coady went public with their views on Arsenal’s conduct come full-time.

The former told BBC Sport : “We saw the way they celebrated the win and that shows the level we are.

“I didn’t see Arsenal celebrating like this in the past 10 years – it was like they won the league.”

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Arsenal's players were accused of 'over-celebrating' their last win over Wolves
Arsenal’s players were accused of ‘over-celebrating’ their last win over Wolves

The duo will have the chance to ensure Arsenal are significantly less happy at full-time on Thursday night, but will have to do so against a Gunners side that have all of their star players ready and raring.

Pressed on whether his side had any injury concerns going into the game, Arteta revealed: “No, at the moment it is all as it was before.”

This means Arsenal are likely to be boosted by the return of Takehiro Tomiyasu at right-back.

The Japan international has not featured at all since the New Years Day defeat by Manchester City, though he was deemed fit enough to be on the bench for last Saturday’s home win over Brentford.

Cedric Soares has done a solid job at deputising for him, but Arteta is likely to revert to his first-choice in that position.

Aaron Ramsdale will retain his position between the sticks and have the usual central defensive duo of Ben White and Gabriel in front of him.

Kieran Tierney has endured mixed form recently but two stellar showings against Wolves and Brentford mean he will continue to start at left-back.



Arsenal have a far better record when Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka both start
Arsenal have a far better record when Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka both start

Arsenal’s record when they line up with Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka next to each other reads 10 games played, eight wins and two losses.

For that reason alone the pair will take to the middle of the park side by side once again looking to orchestrate attacks from deep.

Martin Odegaard’s man of the match display against Brentford ensures his position, the mercurial midfield playmaker having pulled the strings throughout the game last weekend.

Question marks remain over whether Gabriel Martinelli will return to the starting line-up after serving his one-game suspension during the victory against the Bees.

The Brazilian received the quickest two yellow card dismissal in Premier League history last time out against Wolves after two fouls just seconds apart from each other.



Gabriel Martinelli was shown one of the quickest double yellow dismissals in Premier League history against Wolves earlier this month
Gabriel Martinelli was shown one of the quickest double yellow dismissals in Premier League history against Wolves earlier this month

Emile Smith Rowe took up the left attacking flank in Martinelli’s absence and scored a goal in the process, his ninth in the league and 10th across all competitions this season.

In turn, it is likely Smith Rowe keeps his place to begin with before Martinelli is introduced against tired Wolves legs.

Alexandre Lacazette has hardly been among the goals in recent weeks but with very little each to choose from, the Frenchman is expected to lead the line once again.

The former Lyon man may not be as prolific as former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but his ability to link with those around him is clearly something Arteta values.

The least shocking inclusion comes on the right side of the attack where it is inevitable that the Gunners golden boy Bukayo Saka takes his usual place.

The England international scored his seventh league goal of the campaign last time out and will be keen to add to his tally against Wolves.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Aaron Ramsdale; Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel, Kieran Tierney; Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka; Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe; Alexandre Lacazette





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