Arsenal travel to Wolves on Saturday evening needing a win to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Here are five key players to watch ahead of the must-win affair.
If Arsenal are to recover their position in the table and somehow rescue Champions League qualification, it starts with a successful week of action with matches against Wolves, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur looming. And it all begins with Saturday’s trip to Molineux against an excellent Wolves team that are competing with the Gunners for a top-five finish.
Here are five key players to watch.
5. Bukayo Saka
It seems odd that Mikel Arteta is resting an 18-year-old such that he is fully fit and match-sharp for matches against the best teams in the division, but that is precisely what happened this week. After starting the first four matches since football’s return, Bukayo Saka sat on the bench throughout Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Norwich City.
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Saka’s rise to prominence has been remarkable. Breaking into the first team under Unai Emery, then truly establishing himself at left-back under Arteta, and now moving into a contorted central midfield or even wing-back role since the league’s resumption, the teenager is now a critical piece of the team.
With six days’ rest, Saka should be fully prepared on Saturday. Whether he replaces Kieran Tierney at left wing-back or moves inside, he will be central to Arsenal’s progressive play from deep, can drive at the Wolves defence on the counter-attack, and has the skill and quality to create for his teammates in the final third.