PREVIEW: Arsenal v Swansea: Injury News, Preferred XI + Prediction

By on March 25, 2014

It’s time to put things right after Saturday’s humiliation as Arsenal welcome Swansea City to the Emirates Stadium tonight.

The Chelsea loss will have hurt the team and the manager badly, so all we can hope is that they react in a positive way and come out fighting tonight.

The last time we were spanked – a 5-1 defeat away at Liverpool in February – we followed it up with a timid 0-0 draw at home to Man Utd. Obviously the team didn’t want to lose to another main rival so quickly, so it’s understandable we were a little cautious and kept things tight that day, but I really hope we play with a lot more adventure this evening.

Fail to win, and the title is certainly gone, and we’re back to fighting for fourth place. We simply have to get back to winning ways, especially with crucial games against Manchester City and Everton coming up next.

Team/Injury News

Unfortunately, Laurent Koscielny has been ruled out for two weeks with a calf injury picked up against Chelsea, so Thomas Vermaelen will deputise at the back.

Kieran Gibbs is available after having his wrongful dismissal claim upheld by the FA, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was also successful in appealing against the red card he was meant to have received at the weekend.

The game comes too soon for Aaron Ramsey but he could have a chance of featuring on Saturday, but Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott all remain out.  Kim Kallstrom, Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini are all pushing for recalls.

Preferred XI

There is lots of speculation claiming that Arsene is set to drop Wojciech Szczesny, Mikel Arteta and Olivier Giroud for tonight’s game. I certainly agree with two of the changes, but I would like to see Szczesny keep his place.

Fabianski has already confirmed he’s off in the summer so I see no reason to unsettle Szczesny by dropping him for a player who won’t be at the club in a couple of months. Let’s give him the chance to redeem himself and get some confidence back.

The defence should pretty much pick itself, but I’d like to see Arteta left out for Flamini for two reasons. Firstly, Mikel’s been extremely poor of late and he doesn’t deserve to start on current form. But we all know Arsene’s going to play him against City so it’s best his tiring legs are well-rested for that game.

Tomas Rosicky would be the man I’d play alongside Flamini. Th Ox showed on Saturday that he’s not quite ready to play in the middle every week yet, and I also think it’s important we use his pace further up the field with Theo out.

Lukas Podolski should retain his place as he provides us with a vital goal threat in attack, while I’d leave Giroud out for much the same reasons as Arteta. The Frenchman has been poor lately and with him likely to start against City, he could do with a rest, while Sanogo is fresh and will give his all for the team.


It’s going to be interesting to see how the players mental state is after Saturday. I expect we’ll see the team start cautiously and not want to give anything away too early, but hopefully we can get back to playing good football and pick up a vital three points.

Arsenal 2-0 Swansea    COYG!!!!

What are your thoughts ahead of the game? What team would you play?