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Arsenal v Swansea City Match Preview

Swansea City

Ashburton Grove

1st December, 2012


Arsenal come off the back of a pair of lukewarm draws at Aston Villa and Everton, knowing that only home wins against Swansea and West Brom will put those results into a more positive context.

Meanwhile, Swansea City have put a September blip behind them and having moved Muchu into a centre forward position, they have moved up to 8th place in the Premiership, having comfortably dismantled West Brom on Wednesday evening.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger was fulsome in his praise of Swansea's technical ability, 'Of course, Brendan Rodgers has made the basis of what the club is today and Michael Laudrup has added some players he knew from Spain who are very good additions.

'They have Michu, Pablo Hernandez, de Guzman. And by keeping Britton, Rangel and the players at the back they are a dangerous side throughout, and having a good season. They are a complete unit, very creative, very technical and very mobile."

Meanwhile, Michael Laudrup is fully aware of the dangers posed by Arsenal, 'Arsenal are a very good side, with great players who like to play on the ball. They also have a manager in Arsene Wenger that has been there for 16 years and done wonderful things for the club.

'But we go there with no pressure and can surprise people. We have picked up four points this week which has been a very good return for us.'

Arsenal Team News:

Bacary Sagna is a massive doubt for the Gunners with a foot injury picked up against Everton. Laurent Koscielny's thigh strain puts him out of the picture for 3 weeks. Lukas Podolski is expected to return from illness.

Abou Diaby (thigh), Andre Santos (stomach), Lukasz Fabianski (ankle) are out, Theo Walcott will have a late check on his ankle. Tomas Rosicky is back in the squad.

Arsenal (from): Szczesny, Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Djourou, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Coquelin, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, S.Cazorla, Chamberlain, Walcott, Gervinho, Arshavin, Podolski, Chamakh, Giroud.

Player to watch: Lukas Podolski

The German international has settled in well in North London with six goals in home games already. Without him on Wednesday night, the temptation to simply hit Giroud with long balls became too apparent.

Podolski ensures a varied threat with his movement inside the box, in Angel Rangel he faces a right back that likes to attack too.

Swansea City Team News:

Pablo Hernandez misses the trip to London with a thigh injur, Jonathan de Guzman is back to full fitness and expected to take his place.

Danny Graham has recovered from illness but won't be risked. Chico Flores is expected to pass a late test on a shoulder problem.

Swansea City (from): Vorm, Cornell; Rangel, Bartley, Flores, Williams, Monk, Tiandeli, Situ, Taylor; Britton, Dyer, Routledge, de Guzman, Sung-Yeung, Michu, Moore.

Player to watch: Wayne Routledge

Much has been made of the form of 7 goal Michu, correctly so. But Laudrup has tinkered with the system and played nominal winger Wayne Routledge just off of the Spanish frontman.

Routledge responded by scoring two goals against West Brom on Wednesday night from a free role.

Match Facts & Stats

Arsenal and Swansea have met six times in the league, with both sides having won three times each.

Swansea have lost 6 of their last 10 away games, winning two and drawing two as well in that period.

Michu has registered six headers on target this season. Four have been goals.

Kyle Bartley faces his former club.

This fixture has never been separated by more than two goals.

Ref Watch:

The referee will be Mark Clattenburg.

Match Prediction:

I'm going for 2-0 Arsenal. Goals from Giroud and Podolski.

Next Fixtures:

Arsenal play away at Olympiacos on Tuesday night. Swansea's next game will be at home to norwich City next Saturday.

Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Friday November 30 2012
Time: 1:57PM

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Not an easy game to call this. Their team is more settled than ours and as a result they're playing with greater fluency than we're managing at present. They may well have more possession but hopefully we can be direct enough to take advantage when we do have the ball.
30/11/2012 14:47:00
Agree with Amos. This is going to be one game that will task our players' capacity to focus and do their jobs. I recall this side did edge it on the possession stats last season, against us so, it wouldn't surprise me if they have a little bit more of the ball, seeing as we appear to keep possession only in defensive areas and are less assured once in the final third. Still, we are at home and should just nick this.
30/11/2012 23:48:00
We shall need our creative players to be at their best tomorrow, to give their defenders something to worry about just as we know their wide players and full backs will task ours. Wayne Routledge is one player whose improvement over the years has tickled me. Very skillful and tenacious on the ball and bound to whip in some crosses (I will expect them to go with 1 striker). So, I quite like the idea of Gibbs being up against him. That will be a contest. Hope Jenks gets to play as well. It is a game for our English players, if you ask me.
30/11/2012 23:56:00
I fear teams will have seen how Fulham played and got considerable joy against us and there's simply not enough fear factor about playing us anymore. With the form that Swansea are in, I can see them scoring more than once and therefore not losing.
01/12/2012 11:45:00
Observation so far. Swansea are willing to play the ball to a player under pressure and use him to draw our team out of position. Our players are always using the easy option, and only managing to get chances through sheer persistence really.
Arsenales F.C
01/12/2012 15:47:00
"It's a game for our English players". Whoever they are....
Henry Baker Brown
01/12/2012 16:03:00
Observation thus far: Les Francenals haven't won anything for almost a decade....
Henry Baker Brown
01/12/2012 16:16:00
You're aware we started with no French players on the pitch, right?
Arsenales F.C
01/12/2012 16:29:00
you are aware that Hank Baker Brown is a Spud, right ??..... Man Utd - 2 box-strikers Man Citey - 2 box-strikers Spuds - 2 box-strikers I see a pattern here peeps....
01/12/2012 16:57:00
We paid for that first-half display. Grew increasingly desperate for a goal at the end and lost our shape, allowing them to come on again. I fear in selling v.Persie we've gone one sale too far, now we lack a genuine world-class striker and they're not easy to come by.
Arsenales F.C
01/12/2012 16:58:00
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