Arsenal vs Swansea City Preview: Gunners hoping to down wounded Swans

Previewing Swansea City’s trip to Arsenal.

Arsenal vs Swansea City Preview: Gunners hoping to down
wounded Swans
Federico Fernandez keeping the ball away from Mesut Ozil. (Photo: Paul Jenkins/Getty)

Arsenal host Swansea City on Saturday, and a win could take them into the top four while the Swans will be battling to stay out of the relegation zone.

The Gunners are fifth on 16 points, level with Chelsea but behind on goal difference.

Swansea sit 15th but are only above the relegation zone on goal difference themselves, which means not picking up points at the Emirates Stadium could lead to them slipping into the danger zone.

Gunners blazing, Swans faltering

After a mixed start to the season, Arsenal’s form has certainly improved now that their key players are fit again.

Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez all started together for the first time this season against Everton, where they took apart the Toffees’ defence so badly it resulted in Ronald Koeman losing his job.

Swansea however could only dream of such firepower. Tammy Abraham has been the lone spark in Swansea’s season offensively, as his side have struggled to create chances since Gylfi Sigurdsson’s departure in the summer. 

 

 

Team news

Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers are back in full training for Arsenal, but this game may come too soon for the defensive pair.

Arsene Wenger made 11 changes for their midweek tie with Norwich City, and the majority of regulars are expected to come back into the fold.

For Swansea, Martin Olsson joins Wilfried Bony and Renato Sanches on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury against Manchester United.

Olsson is Swansea’s only recognised left-back in the squad, meaning one of Sam Clucas, Kyle Naughton or Angel Rangel will have to fill in.

The quotes

After their 5-2 win over Everton last week, Wenger has challenged his forward trio to maintain some consistency: “What people questioned is their commitment,” referring to Ozil and Sanchez. “I didn’t and what happened on Sunday reinforces my belief. What we want from them is to show that week in, week out.”

He also hinted at Eddie Nketiah getting Premier League gametime after his heroics against Norwich, saying: "He will continue to get a chance. The biggest problem in the Premier League is for the first time since I'm in England we have a consistent level of results in the youth teams.”

While Swansea manager Paul Clement has denied talk of a crisis at the club, after finding themselves towards the bottom of the table following a poor start.

He said: "I am fine, you are two wins away from fans not being worried because you are up in 12th, 11th or 10th position.

"For me there has to be a sense of realism about what the situation is.” The former Bayern Munich assistant said. “It is very tight between the bottom position - those clubs on eight or nine points - to those who are on 12 and 13 points."

Past meetings

Arsenal did the double over Swansea last season, scoring seven goals in the process as the Gunners won 3-2 at the Emirates before thrashing Swansea 4-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

However, since promotion to the Premier League Swansea have had a decent record against Arsenal and at the Emirates, winning three times there since 2012.

Predicted XIs

Arsenal: Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil, Lacazette, Sanchez.

Swansea: Fabianski; Rangel, van der Hoorn, Fernandez, Mawson, Naughton; Fer, Britton, Carroll; Abraham, Ayew.