Friday, 14 October 2016

Arsenal v Swansea City Preview

The Premier League returns tomorrow and Arsenal play at home to Swansea at the traditional time of 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.  It's fairly rare for Arsenal to play at 3 on a Saturday because more often than not their game is moved to facilitate TV. The fact this game hasn't been moved gives us an idea about the opposition and how Arsenal are expected to beat them.

Arsenal are rarely shown on TV at home to the Premier League's lesser lights, but their away games against them are quite regularly scheduled for screening. I suppose the bigger teams are more likely to lose these games on their travels and of course that's what everybody bar the supporters of the losing team wants to see. It might explain why the home game against Middlesbrough next week is a 3pm kick off too, but the trip to Sunderland the following week will be on TV at the earlier time of 12.30.

On the face of it they are three games against struggling teams where Arsenal should be taking all nine points. Swansea have proved a stumbling block in the past while both Boro and Sunderland will try to repel Arsenal, but three wins really are a must if the team are going to challenge for the league. After those games the fixtures get decidedly tougher and it would be great to go into games against Spurs and United on a run of eight consecutive league wins.

As it is that run stands at five wins and the slow start in the opening two games is a distant memory. With City losing to Spurs it has become very tight at the top of the table and Arsenal are only two points behind them. There's a long way to go, but it certainly looks promising at the moment.

From a team selection point there won't be too many changes from the team who just about won away to Burnley last time out. Francis Coquelin is fit to return after picking up a knock in the 3-0 win over Chelsea, but I think Granit Xhaka will keep his place. It doesn't look like we have picked up any injuries in the international break, but there may be one or two players who need to start from the bench after their exertions for their countries.

Alexis Sanchez is the player most likely to miss out having played for Chile away to Peru on Wednesday night. The time difference and flight back would have seen him return on Friday I imagine and it probably makes sense for him to be on the bench to start. He did mange to score twice in that game in a 4-3 win and there aren't too many options in his central striking role.

With Olivier Giroud still injured and Lucas Perez not quite back to full fitness we could see Theo Walcott deployed in that position. Walcott has done very well so far this season on the right and hopefully he can continue that form if he has to play centrally. Alexis suffered from being overplayed last season and we can't allow that to happen again this season. Hopefully he won't have to come on to rescue us and we can get the job done without him.

Arsenal have had their problems at home to teams who shut up shop and no doubt Swansea will try to do just that. They have a very good record at the Emirates with 10 points from their five games there since their promotion to the Premier League. It's been a nightmare to watch Arsenal at home to them in the main and it's something we have to put right.

It took a long time to break Burnley down in the last game and we were more than a little lucky to sneak a win in the end. We might need to be patient and we might have to bide our time, but getting the three points is absolutely vital. A little bit of revenge for all the points Swansea have taken at our ground would be nice and I think we will get it, but it won't be easy.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

2 comments:

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  2. Its about time Arsenal put another bogey team to rest. First the stats.
    The gunners have won 5 games on the trot.MC won 6 before going down.
    Can the gunners make it 6?
    Why not?They must not indulge in excessive passing and stop dithering near the box
    If they play like they did against Chelsea,they shd win but be careful of the
    9/10/Great Swansea defensive wall. A quick breakout and that's it.
    1-0 will do for me.

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