England’s hectic winter period starts this week with the first midweek Premier League matches of the season. This period starts at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal and Huddersfield Town as both have to turn around from matches on Sunday and play on Wednesday.
After wins against Burnley and Tottenham and with a showdown against 2nd place Manchester United upcoming, this could be a trap game for Arsenal. After their exertions over the weekend, they could be caught looking ahead to their match on Saturday, but it is Arsene Wenger’s job to make sure that doesn’t happen. The Gunners have rebounded well after their loss to Manchester City and find themselves in the Champions League spots after Tottenham and Liverpool both dropped points this weekend. They’ll look to keep themselves in that top four with a win on Wednesday.
After having to host league-leading Manchester City on Sunday, Huddersfield now have to travel to Arsenal. The Gunners are yet to drop a point away from home this season, while the Terriers have taken only four points from six games away from Kirklees Stadium. Since their win against Manchester United, Huddersfield have struggled losing three of their four matches and scoring only two goals. Only Swansea City and Crystal Palace have scored fewer goals than the Terriers and, considering Arsenal have averaged 2.5 goals per match at home this season, that could be their downfall on Wednesday.
Arsenal will be without Mesut Ozil as he recovers from illness and will be without Santi Cazorla as he continues to recover from his long-term achillies injury, according to Physioroom.com. They should have Theo Walcott back though after he missed the last few matches through an illness of his own.
The Terriers will be without Rajiv van La Parra as he is suspended after his late red card against Manchester City. Injury-wise, they’ll be without Phillip Billing, Michael Hefele, and Jon Gorenc Stankovic through long-term injuries, according to Physioroom.com.
Arsenal: Alex Iwobi
With Ozil out through illness, Arsenal will need someone to step up and fill his creative boots. Iwobi failed to do so against Burnley, but he’ll be hoping to bounce back at home to Huddersfield. If rumours are to be believed, Arsenal will have to get used to life without Ozil and Iwobi would be the most likely internal replacement for the German. He’ll look at this as an opportunity to prove that he can fill that hole for now and possibly the long term.
Huddersfield Town: Aaron Mooy
Despite their recent struggles, Huddersfield’s Mooy has still been a bright spot this season. After splashing 10m to bring him in permanently, David Wagner needed big things from the Australian midfielder. So far, Mooy’s performances have been pretty strong and he’ll need to put in a good performance if the Terriers stand any chance of getting a result against Arsenal.
Arsenal have been very good at home for a while now. They have won 11 straight league games at the Emirates and it is hard to see Huddersfield ending that run.
Prediction: 2-0 Arsenal