As Arsenal look to extend their recent unbeaten form, they'll need to do so minus one of their more valuable performers for a significant amount of time.
With their collective mind on injured striker Danny Welbeck, the Gunners look to remain unbeaten for a 16th straight contest over all competitions as they try to hand reeling Wolverhampton a fourth consecutive Premier League defeat Sunday at the Emirates.
Two straight losses to open the Premier League season seemed to signal that Arsenal (7-2-2) were possibly looking at more underachievement for a second consecutive top-flight campaign. However, those early defeats came at the hands of Manchester City and Chelsea, not exactly second-tier competition.
Since then, the Gunners have been in stellar form. They followed those losses with 11 straight wins over all competitions and have drawn three of their last four, including Thursday's scoreless affair with Sporting CP in the Europa League.
However, the overall mood was tainted when Welbeck had to be stretchered off for what would be diagnosed as a broken ankle. It's another serious blow for the veteran Welbeck, whose Arsenal tenure has been littered with injuries since joining the club during the 2014-15 season. Though he wasn't a regular in manager Unai Emery's starting XI in Premier League play, Welbeck was third on the team with five goals over 14 overall matches.
"He's a very good person," Emery told Arsenal's official website about Welbeck, who is out indefinitely. "His commitment with us is very big. He's helped us with his behavior, with his quality and his capacity. It's a very big injury for him, for us, for all people who like and love him as a person."
At the moment, Arsenal must move on and focus their attention back to the Premier League. They enter this matchday fifth in the table following a 1-1 draw with Liverpool last Saturday - their second straight league draw.
"We will go again and start analyzing Wolves, and that's not going to be an easy game because they've been doing well - so on to the next one," Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi said.
Yes, Wolves (4-3-4) did begin their return to the Premier League in strong form with just one loss in their first eight matches, but have since been outscored 6-2 during a three-game top-flight slide the left them entering the weekend 11th in the table. Both goals came in last weekend's 3-2 loss to Spurs, in which Wolves tried to rally after falling behind 3-0.
"We gave it a fight at the end, we always do," defender Conor Coady told Wolves' official website. "We'll always show character and have a go until the end. It's the kind of club we are, and the type of players we have in the team will never give up.
"You've got to look at the positives. We're a team who's learning, who's growing. … It's the Premier League, it's a tough division."
These teams last met in April 2012, whilst both Premier League members. Arsenal win that match, 3-0, to improve their record to 7-1-0 in the last eight meetings with Wolverhampton.
Updated November 9, 2018