Although we are still six weeks away from Christmas, Arsenal are looking to secure their spot as the top team in the Premier League on December 25th. With the Premier League taking a break for the World Cup, and not returning until Boxing Day, the standings at the end of this weekend will be the Christmas table, which many look at historically for predictions on how a season might end.
Arsenal haven’t been top of the Premier League at Christmas since 2007/08 and while the leaders on that day often go on to win the title, that isn’t the case for the Gunners. Instead, Arsenal haven’t gone on to win the title in any of the last time times they have been top of the table at Christmas. But for now Arsenal’s focus will just be on entering the World Cup top and they have won five of their past six matches since losing to Manchester United, including wins over Tottenham and Chelsea.
Things aren’t so rosy for hosts Wolves. This will be the final game of Steve Davis’ interim spell in charge of the Midlands club, with Julen Lopetegui taking over on Monday. Davis himself replaced Bruno Lage who was sacked at the start of October, but the Englishman hasn’t fared much better in trying to keep Wolves away from the bottom.
Wolves enter the final weekend of the Premier League pre-World Cup in 19th and only a win over Arsenal combined with Bournemouth losing, and a three-goal difference swing, would see them out of the relegation zone. And that doesn’t feel likely, not least because Wolves have lost three of their past four matches including a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Leicester and last week’s 3-2 defeat to Brighton.
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Wolves vs Arsenal match stats
The Premier League’s worst attack meets its joint-best defence on Saturday when Arsenal travel to Molineux. The Gunners have conceded just 11 goals so far this season while also keeping a joint-high six clean sheets. On the other side of the match, Wolves have scored just eight goals and have the lowest shot conversion rate (4.8%) in the Premier League this season.
Of Wolves’ eight Premier League goals, Ruben Neves has scored four, the same amount as midfield opponent Martin Odegaard has for Arsenal this season. The pair are no doubt set to treat fans to a number of speculative efforts from outside the area, and it is Odegaard who fares just a little bit better. From 27 shots in the Premier League this season, Odegaard has hit the target 11 times; by contrast, Neves’ 26 shots have brought seven on target.