Swansea City vs Arsenal
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Arsenal visit Swansea with both teams suddenly on a bit of a high after tough starts to the season.
Swansea followed up a shock 1-0 win against Liverpool with an away draw to Notts County. Whilst this doesn’t look a great result on paper, they will still fancy themselves in the replay to carry on the decent start to Carvalhal’s tenure.
The Spaniard made 8 changes to the team for the cup game so they should be fresh against an Arsenal side who have reacted strongly to the loss of Alexis Sanchez. A stunning 4 goal 22 minute salvo vanquished Crystal Palace before a gritty home win knocked Chelsea out of the League Cup and sent Arsenal to a fourth Wembley final in five years.Embed from Getty Images
Mesut Ozil was highly influential in both matches and seems to have stepped up to the plate after the departure of Sanchez. Sanchez was of course swapped for Mkhitaryan and it remains to be seen how he will fit in this Arsenal team. Whilst both him and Ozil have huge talent both are also incredibly likely to go missing in games such as these and it seems likely the home game against Everton is a more viable fixture to introduce the Armenian. Aaron Ramsey is also back fit and will provide Wenger a headache to fit him back in given Jack Wilshere’s form in the deep pivot role, Ramsey could instead play as one of the 3 behind Lacazette.
The lightly used Renato Sanches lumped out of the cup draw and is Swansea’s only injury concern, whilst Arsenal will be without Welbeck and Giroud who both may return for next weekend’s match and Carzorla remains a long term absentee.
Swansea have proven themselves to be difficult to break down at home, only the Manchester giants have given them a thrashing, whilst Arsenal have only won 3 away from home all season and were at there dismal, spineless worst last time out against Bournemouth. Both sides need a win but a draw looks a likely result.Embed from Getty Images
Predicted starting XI’s:
Swansea 541. Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, van der Hoorn, Olsen; Dyer, Fer, Clucas, Carroll; Ayew
Arsenal 4231. Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Wilshere; Iwobi, Ozil, Ramsey; Lacazette
Prediction: Swansea 0 Arsenal 0
Written by Gary Robinson.