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Preview: Arsenal v Swansea, team news, Xhaka to start & prediction
Arsenal will be looking to make it six Premier League wins on the spin when we take on Swansea at the Emirates on Saturday.
The interlull was painful and it came at a terrible time for us as we extended our winning streak to five games with a last gasp 1-0 win at Burnley so it interrupted our flow.
That rather fortunate victory saw us climb to third in the table and we now sit just two points off leaders Manchester City after they lost to second-placed Spurs.
Another three points tomorrow will keep the pressure on at the top and we should be confident as Swansea have been poor so far this season and sit 17th in the table.
However, the Welsh outfit have become something of a bogey team for us in recent years as we’ve won just one of our last five league meetings, so we shouldn’t be taking anything for granted tomorrow.
Aaron Ramsey remains out with a hamstring that’s kept him on the sidelines since the opening weekend of the season and Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Ludogorets will also come too soon for the midfielder.
Olivier Giroud is also still unavailable with a toe injury that he suffered against PSG last month but Francis Coquelin returns to the squad after making a swift recovery from a knee injury.
Carl Jenkinson makes his playing return for the under-23’s tonight but Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck remain out with long-term injuries.
As for Swansea, they’ll be without Fernando Llorente due to a rib injury while Jefferson Montero has a calf problem, but Federico Fernandez is available after overcoming a groin injury.
I see no reason to mess with the back four as they’ve become a solid unit while I’d also like to see Granit Xhaka keep his place alongside Santi Cazorla, despite Coquelin’s return.
Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi deserve to keep their places in attack and should once again support Alexis Sanchez up front.
We’re playing well and on a great run while Swansea have been poor and should get rolled over easily. Will this be one of those games whether we slip up against a team we should beat? Or will we ease to a comfortable 3-0 win? We’re Arsenal and we don’t do things easily so I’m expecting us to make life difficult for ourselves but think we’ll edge it in the end. Arsenal 2-1 Swansea