PREMIER LEAGUE: The Striker previews Thursday’s match between Arsenal v Wolves with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats.


7.45pm The midweek Premier League actions continues on Thursday and we have an absolute cracker on BETDAQ Betting Exchange as Arsenal host Wolves. We’ve had some big fixtures this week that will have a big impact on the relegation places, possibly title and now this is a massive clash in the race for the Top Four. I know Wolves are unlikely to get into that fourth spot, but you couldn’t fully rule them now. A win here would obviously be a massive boost, but you can say the same about Arsenal too. There’s a lot on the line here.

Manchester United, Spurs and Arsenal have all had their bad moments this season. All three are unreliable, and Wolves (and West Ham!) will be hoping it stays that way until the end of the season. When I look at the table, I feel Arsenal have the best chance of that fourth spot – they are four points behind Manchester United with three games in hand. However, a couple of weeks ago I felt Spurs were in a cracking position with their games in hand and look how that turned out! The win over Manchester City at the weekend definitely brought them back into the mix, but Arsenal are the favourites ahead of Manchester United and then Spurs.

The way the fixture list has fallen as we try to catch up on games postponed over Christmas means these two sides meet very close together. They already played this month when Arsenal came out on top in a close affair. Both sides will say they could have won the game, but a 1-0 win for Arsenal wasn’t an unfair result when you look at the stats. Since then they have followed that up with a 2-1 win over Brentford at home, but Wolves have bounced back with a 2-0 win over Spurs and a 2-1 win over Leicester.

I know backing Arsenal has to come with a wealth warning, especially in games like this when they have to grind out a result. Wolves will make them work very hard, and this won’t be an easy game with plenty of time and space. Arsenal tend to struggle in those games, but I feel they can win here. A win would obviously be huge for them, but they were the better side when Wolves had home advantage and although Wolves have beaten Spurs and Leicester since, the xG figures weren’t that impressive.

It’s not like Wolves arrive here playing superb football having blown away Spurs and Leicester – they played well against Spurs but they were lucky to beat Leicester. They were very lucky to beat Brentford away from home in January too, winning 2-1 but xG only gave them 0.26. Arsenal have more points at home this season than Chelsea, and we all know Arsenal are a lot more comfortable in front of their own fans. I feel this fixture lines up perfectly for an Arsenal win – they have the confidence of the recent win over Wolves and Wolves aren’t exactly banging in the goals for fun. I will keep stakes limited because it’s Arsenal, but the 1.7 is a little too big for me here – I would have them closer to 1.6.

The Striker Says:
Two points win Arsenal to beat Wolves at 1.7 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Arsenal have lost just one of their last 10 home league games against Wolves (W5 D4), though that defeat did come in this exact fixture last season. The Gunners are looking to complete their first league double over Wolves since 2010-11.
● Wolves won this exact fixture 2-1 last season – they’ve not won back-to-back away league games against Arsenal since September 1979.
● Arsenal have scored in each of their last 28 games against Wolves in all competitions, since a 1-0 home loss in February 1979. It’s the Gunners’ second longest current scoring streak against a specific opponent, after a 32-game ongoing run against West Bromwich Albion.
● Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers this season will become the first ever Premier League fixture to have both meetings in a campaign played on a Thursday. The last fixture to have this happen in the top-flight was Bury vs Tottenham Hotspur in 1924-25.
● Having lost consecutive league games at the start of December, conceding five goals in the process, Arsenal have lost just one of their last eight in the Premier League (W6 D1), conceding just four goals and keeping five clean sheets in this run.
● Wolves have won each of their last four Premier League away games, conceding just one goal in this run. They last won five consecutive away league games in League One in October 2013, while they last did so as a top-flight club in April 1980.
● 26% of Wolves’ Premier League goals this season have come from outside the box (6/23), the highest share of any side in the competition this term.
● Wolves’ only defeat in their last eight Premier League games came against Arsenal, in the reverse fixture at Molineux two weeks ago (W6 D1). Indeed, no side has won more Premier League points over their last eight games than Wolves (19).
● Emile Smith Rowe is Arsenal’s top scorer in the Premier League this season with nine goals. He could become just the second player aged 21 or under to reach double figures in a Premier League season for the Gunners along with Nicolas Anelka in 1998-99.
● Bukayo Saka has been involved in seven goals in his last eight Premier League games for Arsenal (5 goals, 2 assists), while no player has had more goal involvements for the Gunners than Saka overall in the competition this term (11 – 7 goals, 4 assists).