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Swansea v Arsenal Preview, Squad News, Preferred XI, Prediction
Arsenal get back to Premier League action when we take on Swansea City at the Liberty tomorrow night.
It was another positive week which saw us reach the fourth round of the Capital One Cup after edging past West Brom on penalties. Arsene Wenger rightly rested a number of first team regulars for the game and although we lacked a bit of cohesion up front – understandably so – we progressed and will now face Chelsea at the Emirates in the next round.
The win continued our excellent recent run and we head into the Swansea game sitting top of the table after five games. Liverpool slipped up at home to Southampton to open the door for us and we seized our opportunity by beating Stoke 3-1 last Sunday.
Again, we weren’t at our free-flowing best that afternoon but managed to get the three points with goals from set pieces. Very un-Arsenal like but it shows we’re more than just a side that plays pretty patterns in the middle of the park.
Swansea recovered from a poor start to get their season up and running with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace last week, although they did crash out of the Cup in midweek following a 3-1 loss to Birmingham.
We won this fixture 2-0 last season and a repeat result would be gratefully received, but I think it will be a very difficult evening for us and we’ll have to be on our game to come away with the three points.
Arsene confirmed today that Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey are facing late fitness tests but are both expected to feature. Flamini picked up a shoulder injury while Ramsey a thigh problem, but the boss is confident they’ll be passed fit to play.
Mikel Arteta came through ninety minutes on Wednesday but I’d expect he’ll start from the bench unless one of Flamini or Ramsey are ruled out, as it would be tough for the Spaniard to play again having just come back from injury.
A whole host of players will return to the starting line-up after being rested in midweek, while Theo Walcott joined our injury list after undergoing an operation on an abdominal strain. He’ll be out for up to five weeks. Triffic.
Tomas Rosicky will resume training on Monday but this game will come too soon for him, so he’s out along with Cazorla, Podolski, Diaby and Sanogo.
I suggested yesterday that we could try Jenkinson on the right wing for this game but that wasn’t very well received by you lot. It was only an idea but I think we’ll see Serge Gnabry start on the right in place of Theo.
Swansea play some lovely football and with Michu and Bony up front, they will always be a threat. But I’m going to back the boys to edge this one and remain top of the league! Swansea 0-1 Arsenal.
What are your thoughts on the game?