Swansea v Arsenal Match Preview

Published 11/09/2014, 4:12 AM EST

Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey will serve a second suspension of the season having been sent off for two bookable offences in the draw at Everton. Jordi Amat and Dwight Tiendalli are back in full training following respective knee and groin injuries. Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is available after missing the last two matches because of illness . Mikel Arteta is ruled out with a hamstring injury but Theo Walcott could make his first start since January. Arsenal look to get back on track after that extraordinary collapse against Anderlecht in the Champions League with a visit to Swansea, who have slipped in recent weeks after an excellent start, winning only one of the last seven league games.

Defensive frailties were once again to the fore for Arsene Wenger’s team on Tuesday night as a 3-0 lead with half an hour to go completely evaporated. Clearly there are issues at the back and Swansea striker Wilfried Bony, who has scored three goals in the last two home matches, is just one player who will be eager to exploit any defensive uncertainty. When Arsene Wenger does some planning, in terms of buying and selling, he has to start looking at his team from back to front, rather than front to back. The Gunners continue to play really outstanding football, create lots of chance and score stacks of goals but that is all wasted if, in a 10-minute spell, they play like complete strangers in defence. Swansea’s home form has been good so far with 10 points from a possible 15, a figure bettered in the Premier League by only Chelsea and Southampton prior to this weekend.

Lukas Fabianski appears to have settled in well following his summer move from the Gunners and five clean sheets in 10 league games is a testament to that, and to a settled line up. Gary Monk has used just 18 players this season, the lowest tally in the Premier League. There are six ever presents in the Swansea side and two more who have only missed one game.

Fans going to the game would be advised not to leave early because recent encounters between these two teams have included a hatful of late goals. The last half dozen meetings have included nine scored in the last 10 minutes of the match.Arsenal have left it pretty late several times this season already, with a league-high five goals scored in the 90th minute. Sadly for them, it was Anderlecht who left it to the last minute on Tuesday.

An early goal to either team will set the tone.


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Pranav Kuchimanchi

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