Shropshire Star

Arsenal v Wolves - Match preview

Wolves go into a daunting fixture at Premier League leaders Arsenal tomorrow without fear, insists defender Toti Gomes.


The Gunners took over at the top last weekend after three successive Premier League victories saw them leapfrog champions Manchester City at the summit. And Wolves’ task looks tougher bearing in mind the last time the two sides met at the Emirates, the Gunners meted out a five-goal thrashing in the last game of last season.

However, the Molineux men can take heart in the fact that since their return to the Premier League, their record at Arsenal is better than most.

They have recorded two draws and a win in their five top-flight visits at the Emirates since promotion in 2018.

Yet, with Arsenal going into the game on the back of an ominous 6-0 thrashing of Lens on home soil in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, defender Toti Gomes knows what a big ask it will be. And, after going three down within the first half-hour of their chastening defeat to the Gunners in May, Gomes believes Wolves must start the game well.

“They will be a really tough opponent,” warned the Portugal defender. “We all know Arsenal have a really good team but this is the Premier League, we will go there and give it everything.

“We are not afraid of them. We will do our game and prepare well.”

Wolves have made a few slow starts of late, conceding the first goal in each of their last four Premier League games. And that is something Gomes is eager to put right against the title contenders tomorrow.

“We need to try not to concede first,” admitted the 24-year-old.

“That’s not good, of course. But this is the Premier League and sometimes it can happen. We will keep working during the week and try to improve it, that is for sure.”

Meanwhile, head coach Gary O’Neil has been dissecting his players’ performances at Fulham on Monday as he prepares for the next big challenge.

But he insists he does not feel any more pressure facing the current leaders than going into a game against any other top-flight side.

“I mean, I feel pressured to win football matches every week,” said O’Neil. “That’s I have done since the moment I started in being a head coach, and I will do until I stop because that’s the nature of it.

“But you know, you can only control what you can control.

“I set my team up the best I could on Monday, made decisions around substitutions and tactics, the best I could.

“And then there’s a lot of other things as you see that can go into whether you win or lose because we lost doesn’t mean that everything we did was wrong.

“There was some good stuff, stuff we should improve and stuff we can’t control.”

Wolves welcome back Craig Dawson after a one-game ban, though Joao Gomes and Mario Lemina miss out through suspension. Rayan Ait-Nouri is a doubt after turning his ankle at Fulham.