Gunners need to fire at Wolves

BY foxsports • February 11, 2011

Arsenal's Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday has assumed greater than usual importance for the Gunners following last weekend's results.

But the Gunners may be less sure of getting them than usual after Wolves became the first side this season to defeat United in the Premier League.

"I know a bit about Arsenal with there being some French players there," Wolves French defender Roland Zubar said. "They were very disappointed about the draw with Newcastle and having been 4-0 up it felt like a loss.

"They will want to put that right by beating us and it's their home game with the chance to show something positive to their fans."

Arsenal will be without midfielder Abou Diaby because of suspension for the second-half red card that precipitated Newcastle's late comeback.

Johan Djourou and Alex Song will have fitness tests to see if they can play for Arsenal. Song missed the Newcastle match because of a thigh problem, while Djourou was substituted in the second half because of a knee problem. France forward Samir Nasri will miss the match as he recovers from a hamstring problem.

"Samir is continuing his progress," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "It is difficult to assess. He should be fit to be competitive in one week. He is training already."

Wolves' victory over United, which tries to bounce back against visiting Manchester City in another of Saturday's eight matches, lifted the club from the bottom of the standings.

The club is still in trouble being only two points from safety but unfazed by a visit to Arsenal.

"We have beaten Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United," Wolves chairman Steve Morgan said. "In fact, six out of our seven Premier League wins have come against teams in the top half of the league.

"We've just got to get our heads around beating the teams in the bottom half as well. We know we can do it and have just got to prove it."

That victory over United completely lifted the gloom that had started to envelop the club after a series of unlucky losses.

"It's all about the next 13 games and reproducing that performance and putting enough points on the board to make us safe and building on it for next season," Morgan said. "I am still very confident."

United will again be without central defender Rio Ferdinand because of the calf strain sustained while warming up for the 2-1 defeat by Wolves, giving City and star striker Carlos Tevez real hope of improving upon a record of just one goal in five matches this season against the other teams in the top five.

But City could be without key midfielder Nigel de Jong with an ankle injury. Defender Micah Richards has recovered from a similar problem and could play, while striker Mario Balotelli may return after a four-week absence with a knee injury.

United leads second-place Arsenal by four points and third-place City by five.

Chelsea is at west London rival Fulham on Monday, giving Tottenham the chance to take fourth place for two days if it avoids defeat at Sunderland.

Also on Saturday, Stoke is at Birmingham, Newcastle is at Blackburn, Aston Villa is at Blackpool, Wigan is at Liverpool and West Ham is at West Bromwich Albion.

Bolton hosts Everton on Sunday.
 


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