Arsenal v Wolves: Irresistible Force Against The Moveable Object

Last updated : 28 January 2005 By Alex Wootton

Wolves look to move past the Premiership Champions into Round five, drawing arguably the toughest team in England to play against. Former Wolves left-back Dennis Irwin drew the FA Cup 4th round tie and even apologised about matching Wolves against Wenger’s side! Wolves will look to be at full-strength, with the “new” team in good morale under Hoddle, with three wins in a row, two against Millwall and one against West Ham, but the problem is still the defence.

Wolves look lax often, giving away needless goals in matches against both Millwall and West Ham, they can’t play like this against Arsenal, as they will be severely punished. Hoddle as of yet hasn’t made any new acquisitions for Wolves, but still insists there is time for them to strengthen the squad and bring new players in. It seems Hoddle is very interested in Rubin Kazan’s Petrous to stiffen up Wolves back-line, even though all targets and trialists so far haven’t made the cut.

Wolves may have enough hope to put in a good performance and maybe, just maybe get through to the next round. Many people wrote Wolves off as soon as the tie was drawn, the bookmakers, journalists, maybe even Wolves themselves. Wolves have no new injury worries after last weeks game at Millwall, which is promising for them, as
Murray is out for the season, Ndah is on an endless injury-prone run and Ganea’s return is currently out of site, but the injury crisis is getting better. Sturridge played in the Reserves and made a good comeback, looking good and sharp, maybe he could make his way back into Hoddle’s plans soon.

Wenger’s men totally destroyed Wolves in every sense of the word last year, playing three times, and all three times Arsenal managed to smash three goals or more past Wolves! Arsenal beat Wolves 3 – 1 and 3 – 0 in the Premiership, while in the Carling Cup a “weakened” Arsenal side beat Wolves 5 – 1. I am sure it will be a much closer affair this time around.

The Arsenal side will be full of extreme talent and pace, with Wenger having to choose from an array of talent, going from Sendoros and Cygan at the back to Abeyie, Smith and Lupoli up front. No doubt about it even if Arsenal field these youngsters they will be powerful, and Wenger will not under-estimate Wolves too much.

Wenger will realise Wolves will be motivated to go to Highbury and there will be a heavy following of Wolves fans, making a good atmosphere at the stadium.

Arsenal have been looking weaker than usual as of late. After the “Pizza Fight” at Old Trafford it seems that Arsenal have never been the same since. The 1 – 0 loss to Bolton was shocking, Arsenal looked tired and unmotivated, not something you frequently feel about the Premiership Champions.

With this in mind, Wolves must feel this is the best time to possibly play Arsenal, is this the biggest cup upset so far is in the waiting?

Glenn Hoddle will want to “keep it tight” here, and a replay at the Molineux is probably the best he and Wolves could hope for. The Wolves defence will have to be on guard here and at there best, as Arsenal’s attacking power could just prove to be too much for them.

Wolves’ form could prove vital here, if they carry it into this game, they could come out with a draw, but everyone seems to get the feeling this is the best they could hope for. Arsenal played a reasonable team against Stoke, with the likes of Fabregas, Reyes and Pires, these type of players are worth millions and can rip teams apart instantly, lets hope Wolves pride is still intact after this match-up!

Prediction: Arsenal 2 – 0 Wolves