Swansea Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups
After the debacle at Stamford Bridge, the Gunners have a chance of setting things right against a struggling Swansea side in front of their home fans. The club had set a media lockdown in the wake of their embarrassment in West London but the vice – captain, Mikel Arteta, has come out from his shell to share his thoughts,
“It hurts deeply inside. It’s embarrassing to be on a football pitch in that situation. I promise everyone that we have that hunger to put it right. On Tuesday we have an opportunity again at home and we just need to bounce back.”
Arteta alongside his teammates were piss poor to say the least and watching them get tossed around the pitch was a horrific sight. However, the game against Swansea offers a perfect platform to put that defeat behind them and see if the Gunners can resurrect their dying title challenge. A lot of things can happen in eight games but the Gunners need to win their matches and hope for favors elsewhere.
Wenger had also voiced his opinions on the disaster, labelling it as an ‘accident’,
“An accident has happened, that doesn’t mean that you’re not a good driver. It just means that we have played about 40 games this season and it’s not what happened on Saturday that reflects the quality of this team.”
In Wenger and the team’s defense, there have been a lot of positives this season. The extended contracts of key playing personnel as well as good great performances on the pitch. This is the same side that has a date with destiny when they take on a Wigan Athletic side in the FA Cup semifinal and there’s still a chance that they can go all the way in the Premier League.
The Gunners also appealed to the FA in regard to Andre Marriner’s moment of refereeing madness and the suspension to Kieran Gibbs has been rescinded. However, the Ox might be suspended if the FA decides to transfer the punishment to him. Marriner was tipped to be demoted to the Championship for his horrid performance but I’ve been notified that he’s going to officiate the Newcastle game.
For the stats lovers, Arsenal have won five of just nine league meetings with Swansea City with three wins in the last three games against Swansea in league and cup. (PL2, FAC1).
Swansea won on their last trip to north London in December 2012, Michu scoring twice in a 2-0 win and there have been eight goals scored in the last 10 minutes of the last five meetings in all competitions between Arsenal and Swansea.
Arsene Wenger’s side have won all three of their games against the top flight’s Welsh clubs in the Premier League so far this season and the Gunners have not conceded a first-half goal in any of their last 11 Premier League matches at the Emirates.
However, the Gunners are in a poor run of form, winning just three of their last eight Premier League games (W3 D2 L3). Swansea on the other hand, have lost seven of 11 league games since the turn of the year (W2 D2).
Their floodgates open easily as well, as Norwich, Cardiff and Fulham have conceded more goals in the Premier League than Swansea this season.
To team news, Laurent Koscielny’s calf injury rules him out of tonight’s encounter, so he’s odds on to be replaced by the club captain, Thomas Vermaelen. I’d also expect to see Mathieu Flamini coming into the heart of the midfield and with Olivier Giroud struggling for form, he might be replaced by Yahaya Sanogo.
Arsenal needs to win this game to restore some confidence ahead of a mightily important clash against Manchester City this weekend.
Let’s hope for a better response tonight.