Arsenal host Swansea tomorrow afternoon as 7th meets 8th in the table. A Swansea win at the Emirates would take them above Arsenal in the table and really with other teams breathing down their necks, and after two straight draws away from home, the Gunners need to make the most of their home advantage against a tricky Swansea side.
Laurent Koscielny is definitely out and Bacary Sagna is a major doubt for the game too. Lukas Podolski, who missed the game against Everton in midweek with a virus is still a concern and Theo Walcott has an ankle problem which could leave him on the sidelines and Andre Santos, Abou Diaby and Lukasz Fabianski remain out with injuries. If Walcott can play tomorrow, he could potentially make his 100th Premier League start for the club.
Swansea will be without Pablo Hernandez, who suffered a thigh injury in their midweek clash with West Brom, while Danny Graham is likely to miss the clash too after illness this week. Chico Flores should be available for the Welsh side though.
Arsenal and Swansea haven’t met often. In fact, tomorrow will be only the 12th meeting between the two sides. Swansea won once at Arsenal, back in February 1982. Arsenal have won 6 of the 11 meetings so far, Swansea have 4 wins and there was 1 draw.
Last season saw Arsenal win the home fixture 1-0 after goalkeeper Michel Vorm gifted Andrei Arshavin a goal back in September 2011. Swansea got their revenge in the new year when they beat the Gunners in mid-January 3-2.
Arsenal really do need to start winning consistently if they are to qualify for the Champions League this season. So far Arsenal have got a really good result somewhere and not followed it up with another win. It seems that they will draw a lot of games this season. They haven’t lost too many overall, but drawing can be as costly as losing sometimes, especially if it is a game you should be winning too.
Swansea are a very good side and I admire the way they have been playing football since their promotion to the Premier League in 2011, both under Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup. I have been particularly impressed with his signing of Michu, who looks an absolute bargain at £2m. They certainly won’t be an easy three points on Saturday and any win would be welcome. Last year we scraped that 1-0 against Swansea on a day that Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker made their Arsenal debuts after deadline day moves to the club. I think I’m right in saying that it was our first game since the 8-2 defeat at Man United last year. Whilst Arsenal aren’t in as big of a mess as they were last August, this is our worst start to a league season since 1994 and we need to start picking up wins rather than draws, regardless of how scrappy it may be!.