Football 3 years ago

Preview: Swansea City Vs Arsenal

  • Preview: Swansea City Vs Arsenal

There are few defeats more surprising than a 3-0 thumping to Sheffield Wednesday when you have previously beaten Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Everton-like top teams. Yes, it was a very different side that took to the field at Sheffield (and that has probably saved Arsene Wenger on this occasion), but still, how can a considerably good division one line-up lose to a second tier team is beyond anyone. Even more surprising is the fact that no one cares what actually happened in the League Cup and maybe rightly so. Another reason to scrap the tournament, perhaps?

Anyways, it's Premier League time again, and Arsenal - second on goal difference to Manchester City - travel to the Liberty Stadium to face a struggling Swansea City, who, despite beginning the league on a high note, have fallen apart after a poor run has seen them drop way down. Surely, there is hope for the Swans as far as the statistics are concerned (they have won the previous three meetings against Arsenal). 

For Arsenal, the fixture against Garry Monk's side represents another opportunity to be league leaders, or at least stay level on points with Manchester City. As good as Swansea City are, particularly at home, they certainy don't have the confidence to take on a big team at the moment with disappointments in their previous few matches. 

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Even with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey out, the Gunners do have enough - there's no problem there at all; more crucial here is maintaining the intensity for the majority of 90 minutes, which Arsene Wenger's side haven't done particularly well. Swansea will come out with a crowded mid-field, and a plan to defend as they did when the two previously met at The Emirates Stadium. The point Arsenal drop the intensity and start relaxing (they open up at the back while relaxing), that's where the hosts will smell blood and raise their game. That can hurt. 

In truth, this isn't a very tough fixture by any means - see how Chelsea brushed them aside on both occasions the previous season - and it's only Arsenal's own silly mistakes that can cost them. Can Monk's boys deal with the kind of movement Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla are likely to make or with the physical strength of Olivier Giroud in the box? No, not when they are searching for form. The argument pretty much ends there. 

Line-up

Quotes

"It is always disappointing to lose players but we are equipped first of all with the quality of our squad and we are equipped mentally as well to deal with anything," Arsene Wenger said. 

"My short-term option is [to play] Campbell or get one more defensive midfielder in like Flamini and put Cazorla on the flank. I haven't decided yet. We will find solutions and I have to find the right one.

"I have been very impressed with Campbell, his attitude is outstanding and his daily dedication in training and his desire to improve is absolutely outstanding.

"I think he can be a big help for us, and he can play centre forward don't forget that. In the coming two to three months he can be a very important player for us.

"This is a challenge for me and for the players who come in to show their quality. At the end you can find yourself with a bigger squad - that is what happened with Coquelin and Bellerin last season."

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