Following defeats against Barcelona and Manchester United in quick succession, Arsenal will be eagerly awaiting an uplifting display all-round when they entertain Swansea at the Emirates – aiming to keep their title fight alive.
Following successive defeats against Barcelona and Manchester United last week, Arsenal will be looking for a positive response as their Premier League title credentials have been questioned – with a home fixture against Francesco Guidolin’s inconsistent Swansea side.
The visitors for Wednesday’s clash sit in 16th place, just three points above the relegation zone with a game in hand over both Sunderland and Norwich, who played this evening. They’ll be hoping to avenge their 3-0 home defeat earlier on in the campaign, but the Gunners will be equally bullish about their chances of sealing all three points.
In his pre-match press conference, manager Arsène Wenger revealed revealed that the side may be rotated somewhat – with suggestions hinting January acquisition Mohamed Elneny may be in line for his maiden Premier League start following impressive displays in the FA Cup, whilst Danny Welbeck could be rested.
As for the Swans, they are the only side in England’s top flight currently with no injury worries to first-team players, so there is free roam for Guidolin to rotate his side as they look to bounce back from a last-ditch 2-1 defeat away at White Hart Lane to Tottenham on Sunday.
Alberto Paloschi netted his first goal following his January switch from Serie A side Chievo, and could start in attack alongside Andre Ayew – whilst Ki Sung-Yeung was chosen over winger Wayne Routledge on the weekend, and the same is expected in midweek.
Arsenal: Čech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Ramsey, Elneny; Sanchez, Campbell, Özil; Giroud.
Swansea: Fabianski; Taylor, Williams, Fernandez, Rangel; Cork, Britton, Ki; Sigurdsson; Ayew and Paloschi.
A point to prove
Both sides will be seeking a win, for contrasting reasons. This is exactly the type of game that Arsenal must win, to prove they have what it takes to win the League – especially considering how unpredictable it’s been this term.
Swansea themselves need a victory, not least after having one virtually snatched out of their hands against an in-form Tottenham side last weekend. Teetering on the brink of the relegation zone, they’ll look to frustrate the Gunners and give their away supporters something to celebrate – something they’ve done in the past.