Arsenal are the hottest team in the Premier League right now, with 25 goals in their six Premier League games in 2024. The Gunners have only conceded three in that period too, and they look a formidable opponent for anyone. In this gameweek’s Monday night game, Arteta’s side travel to struggling Sheffield United, in hopes of further extending their impressive run.
Arsenal first goalscorer odds: Our picks
Arsenal have managed to recapture last season’s knack of scoring the opening goal early to open games up. In their last six league games, they’ve scored the opener within the first half hour four times. Here are our tips as to who might crack Sheffield United open on Monday night.
Bukayo Saka – 9/2
Arsenal have really spread the goals around this season, as they did last campaign. Nine players have scored four or more goals for the Gunners in league play this campaign.
But one player who has stood out on the goalscoring front of late has been Bukayo Saka. With seven goals in his last five games, he has raced clear atop the Arsenal scoring charts, with 13 in total. The 22-year-old has become a very effective finisher.
Saka can smash the ball into the roof of the net at the near post with his weaker right, or cut inside and sweep the ball in with his stronger left foot. These ambipedal skills allow Saka to create doubt in defenders’ minds, as was seen last weekend, when Tino Livramento, a very capable one-on-one defender, was unable to cope with Saka.
For this reason, Saka is our number one pick to open the scoring in this one.
Leandro Trossard – 11/2
If things had gone to plan just over a year ago, Arsenal would be calling on Mykhailo Mudryk to complement their attack rather than 29-year-old Leandro Trossard.
In hindsight, Arsenal’s transfer committee and supporters alike will be relieved they had to fall back on Trossard.
Despite often not starting, Trossard has scored or assisted at a rate of 0.92 per 90 minutes. There are only two Arsenal players to have a better output per game than that – Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie. Fine company indeed.
After coming off the bench against Newcastle, Trossard will be hoping to be restored to the starting lineup this time around.
Gabriel Jesus – 11/2
Trossard’s form has been so impressive that Gunners fans have started to question the need for Gabriel Jesus, and whether the Brazilian should be restored to the starting lineup.
Jesus has had a frustrating 2023/24, marred by injury. But there have been good times too. He has lit up the Champions League, and scored the first and assisted the second of Arsenal’s goals in his last appearance, a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest.
But that game ended bittersweetly, as he aggravated the knee issue he has been suffering from since his injury at the 2022 World Cup.
Jesus was an unused substitute against Newcastle and has been in full training for over a week now. Arteta, amid reports that Arsenal are going to manage Jesus’ workload to reduce the risk of injury flare-ups, may see this as the perfect opportunity to reintroduce him. Netting the opener would be a big boost for Jesus’ confidence and Arsenal.
Kai Havertz – 11/2
Tied with Jesus and Trossard at 11/2 is another of Arsenal’s striking options, Kai Havertz.
Havertz may not be the coldest-blooded finisher, but his deceptive physicality, intelligence and hard work off the ball make him a key cog in the Arsenal machine. The 24-year-old has appeared in all but one Arsenal game this season, such is his fitness and availability.
After a goal and an assist against Newcastle at striker, Arteta may choose to keep Havertz up top, but could also move him back into midfield against a weaker opponent.
Emile Smith Rowe – 15/2
Our outside pick for this game is Emile Smith Rowe. The England international has endured a difficult couple of seasons, beset with setbacks related to rare growth-related pain in his groin.
But when Smith Rowe has played this season, he has looked bright. With limited minutes, it is worth taking this stat with a grain of salt, but Smith Rowe actually averages the highest expected goals per 90 minutes in the Arsenal squad at 0.57.
What this shows is that Smith Rowe has not lost that knack for finding space in and around the box to get shots off. Combined with his excellent ball-carrying ability, Smith Rowe is a unique midfielder who could offer a lot to Arsenal.
Should he start against Sheffield United for a second time, as we predict in our Arsenal predicted lineup analysis for this game, Smith Rowe will likely get chances to score.