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PREVIEW: Swansea v Arsenal, Team News, Line-Up & Prediction
Arsenal get back to Premier League action when we take on Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
We were on something of a run after three consecutive victories over Anderlecht, Sunderland and Burnley last month, however, the wheels came off in spectacular fashion in midweek.
In typical Arsenal style, we let a three-goal lead slip during the final half hour against Anderlecht to blow our chance of securing qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League with two games to spare.
I’m sure we’ll get the point we need against Dortmund or Galatasaray but it was so disappointing to see this team make the same schoolboy errors that we’ve seen in the past, and you just wonder if they’ll ever learn.
It’s going to be a big test of our character this weekend to see how the players respond, and it might actually be a blessing in disguise for us to be playing away from home as it might take a little pressure off the boys.
We head into the game sitting fourth in the table so hopefully we can at least consolidate that position and go into the international break on a positive note, but it’s not going to be easy as Swansea are doing well and currently sit sixth – just two point adrift.
Jack Wilshere is available again after overcoming illness and with Mikel Arteta out with a hamstring injury that he picked up in midweek, I’d like to see Jack come in instead of Mathieu Flamini.
I really don’t see what Flamini brings to the side these days so while it may be a risk to play with no ‘holding’ midfielder player, I don’t think Wilshere and Ramsey could do any worse than Flamini or Arteta have done this season in protecting the back four.
Plus both players have played a deeper role at times for club and country so all it will take is a bit of intelligence form the pair. When one goes, the other sits, and vice-versa.
Laurent Koscielny remains out with an Achilles injury so I’d like to see Calum Chambers moved into the middle of defence. That’s his best position so lets start playing players where they are meant to be played instead of putting squad pegs in round holes and hoping for a miracle.
Monreal has done OK in the middle but it was only a matter of time until he cost us a goal and that time arrived in midweek. Bring Hector Bellerin in at right-back and we’d have a far more balanced defence.
Theo Walcott is pushing for a recall but with just 10 minutes of football in 10 months, I don’t think he’s ready to start, so hopefully he can get another run-out under his belt in the second half.
Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, Mathieu Debuchy and David Opsina remain on the sidelines.
In reality, Arsene will probably just bring Flamini in for Arteta and may swap Wilshere with Ramsey, with Monreal still in defence. Hopefully we see a far better display from the boys at the back this time around.
I can’t say I’m too confident of collecting our third consecutive Premier League clean sheet but I do hope that we’ll have enough in attack to come away with a narrow win. Swansea 1-2 Arsenal.