Daily Archives: November 9, 2014
The good thing about supporting a club like Arsenal is that you get to see them feature consistently in a lot of competitions and the draw against Anderlecht following two wins on the trot was like two steps forward, one step back. It was a disappointing performance no doubt, but the players have a chance to set things right in the Liberty Stadium, a ground where the Gunners did well to get maximum points thanks to a match-winning goal from Aaron Ramsey, when he was still in a rich vein of form. This season, the Welsh Jesus has struggled for form and fitness and the fans would be hoping that he hits top gear pretty soon.
Swansea has been in good form this season, thanks to their fantastic start to the Premier League campaign that saw them win their first three games of the season before suffering a set back against Chelsea. Garry Monk came under the spotlight following his post-match comments about the officials in the 2-1 defeat to Stoke, but on the pitch Wilfried Bony has been picking the form he replicated last season, scoring four goals for the Swans in the League. With 15 points from 10 games, Swansea are sixth place and they’ve amassed a good amount of clean sheets too with ex-Gunner, Lukasz Fabianski, serving as the custodian between the sticks.
The Polish goalie left Arsenal in search of first team football after spending a considerable chunk of his career on the bench. Arsene Wenger recently stated that he didn’t want to let Fabianski go but he acknowledged the Pole had reached a stage in his career where he had to feature consistently, so he understood when he chose not to renew his contract with the club. David Ospina has been signed as Fabianski’s replacement but the Colombian has been Diaby-esque with his injuries thus far.
Arsenal will have to be mindful of the threat Gyifl Sigurdsson would pose. The ex-Spurs player has been a revelation for Swansea this season, raking up assists with consummate ease. The Swans would still be without Jonjo Shelvey that’s currently serving a suspension and they’re set to welcome Leon Britton, Jordi Amat and Dwight Tiendalli that have been on the sidelines for a while.
The Gunners would be looking for a better performance on Sunday following the capitulation against Anderlecht and the fans can only be pleased by a win before the crucial clash against Manchester United in two weeks time. Arsenal have won their last two games and sit two points above Swansea, who followed up a victory over Leicester by drawing at Everton. The Gunners have had a shaky start to their Premier League campaign drawing a host of games and winning a handful, yet they still find themselves in the top four, albeit with a superior goal difference than West Ham.
To team news, Wojciech Szczesny would remain in goal and would be wondering what went wrong with the defense that kept two consecutive clean sheets against Sunderland and Burnley. He would be hoping for a better collective performance from the guys in front of him, because with the injury constraints faced there I expect Wenger to retain the same back line of Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal. While the full backs have been in good form this season, the center back combo of Merte-real has struggled badly on countless occasions. In midfield, Mikel Arteta’s unfortunate injury would see Mathieu Flamini continue in that holding role and frankly speaking, the Frenchman has waned badly this season. Another player that has been woeful in recent times is Santi Cazorla and nothing seems to work for him in front of goal as well. As for Aaron Ramsey, he’s still trying to rediscover his form of last season because he’s no where near that form at the moment.
Arsenal’s man on fire is the new signing, Alexis Sanchez, and playing him through the middle has been a stroke of genius by Wenger. The Chilean sensation has been the heart and soul of the team this season, and everyone connected with the club will be hopeful that he can maintain this form all season long. In attack, it was good seeing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain get on the score sheet but one may be wondering when “that guy Welbz” will get on the scoring sheet, with Olivier Giroud returning to fitness ahead of schedule. The French forward was instrumental to Arsenal’s cause last season and this is the first time he’s suffering a long-term layoff. Let’s hope he won’t have any more setbacks.
Arsenal: Arteta (hamstring), Debuchy (ankle), Diaby (calf), Giroud (foot), Gnabry (knee), Koscielny (Achilles), Ospina (thigh), Özil (knee), Sanogo (hamstring).
Swansea: Amat, Britton (both knee), Donnelly (ankle), Richards (knee), Shelvey (suspended), Tiendalli (groin).
- Last Five Games: L D W W D
- Last Result: Arsenal 3 Anderlecht 3
- Last Five Games: D L W L D
- Last Result: Swansea 0 Everton 0
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