Kick-off: Saturday, 28 September 2013, 1730 GMT, 2200 IST
Location: Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
Officials: Mark Clattenberg (referee), S. Beck, S. Child (assistants), Andre Marriner (Fourth official)
After their respective midweek League Cup commitments, it back to Premier League action for both Swansea and Arsenal and this game is set to be a very interesting fixture, with the Gunners having won and lost one league game apiece since the Swans came to the Premier League.
Last five fixtures: LWWDW
25/09/2013: 1-3 vs. Birmingham City (A), Capital One Cup
22/09/2013: 2-0 vs. Crystal Palace (A), Barclays Premier League
19/09/2013: 0-3 vs. Valencia CF (A), UEFA Europa League
16/09/2013: 2-2 vs. Liverpool FC (H), Barclays Premier League
01/09/2013: 2-0 vs. West Bromwich Albion (A), Barclays Premier League
What is interesting to note that all of Swansea’s Premier League wins during the month of September have come on their travels. Their one home game so far has come against Liverpool, a game in which the Swans showed plenty of resilience.
Although the Welsh side may have lost to Birmingham City at St. Andrews in midweek, it is no indication of their overall form and Michael Laudrup can point to an excellent away win at Valencia in Swansea’s historical debut appearance in Europe proper.
Laudrup will be hoping he can emulate what Brendan Rodgers did against Arsene Wenger during their first season on their return to the English top flight. The Swans beat the Gunners 3-2 and Laudrup himself will be looking to exploit the same weaknesses that led to a 2-0 upset of the North Londoners at the Emirates Stadium last season. A late Michu brace on that day compounded a horrible match for the hosts last season.
Last five fixtures: WWWWW
25/09/2013: 1-1 (4-3 PSO) vs. West Bromwich Albion (A), Capital One Cup
22/09/2013: 3-1 vs. Stoke City (H), Barclays Premier League
18/09/2013: 2-1 vs. Olympique de Marseille (A), UEFA Champions League
14/09/2013: 3-1 vs. Sunderland AFC (A), Barclays Premier League
01/09/2013: 1-0 vs. Tottenham Hotspur (H), Barclays Premier League
Arsenal’s confidence of late has been sky-high and they will need all of it to face a Swansea side who have caused them no end of problems in the past.
The Gunners lost Theo Walcott in the warm up to the Stoke game and although Arsenal’s second string team which comprised of a clutch of first team players who have only just returned to the fold and a bunch of teenagers who showed excellent resilience at the Hawthorns, Swansea away will require more determination than was previously shown.
Arsenal are down to their bare bones and no players are expected back for this game, which is why Wenger will be playing to his team’s strengths for this game. The last time Arsenal went to the Liberty Stadium, they came away with a 2-0 win. Nacho Monreal and Gervinho scored the goals.
Laudrup’s team will be without Pablo Hernandez, who will miss this game with a hamstring complaint. Ashley Williams faces a late fitness test. Everybody else is fit.
Squad (from): Gerhard Tremmel, Michel Vorm, Zabret, Jordi Amat, Chico Flores, Ben Davies, Jernade Meade, Garry Monk, Curtis Obeng, Angel Rangel, Darnel Situ, Neil Taylor, Dwight Tiendalli, Ashley Williams, Leon Britton, Jose Canas, Jonathan De Guzman, Nathan Dyer, Alejandro Pozuelo, Wayne Routledge, Jonjo Shelvey, Wilfried Bony, Rory Donnelly, Roland Lamah, Leroy Lita, Michu Cuesta, Alvaro Vazquez
Probable Starting XI: Vorm, Rangel, Williams, Flores, Taylor, de Guzman, Britton, Shelvey, Dyer, Routledge, Michu
Tomas Rosicky is expected back Monday and Lukas Podolski is set to follow him. Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen both made their first starts since their return from injury.
Alex Chamberlain (knee), Abou Diaby (ACL) and Santi Cazorla (ankle) are still out for the long term.
Squad (from): Lukasz Fabianski, Wojciech Szczesny, Damian Martinez, Emiliano Viviano, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal, Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen, Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta, Thomas Eisfeld, Emmanuel Frimpong, Serge Gnabry, Ryo Miyaichi, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Nicklas Bendtner, Olivier Giroud, Ju-Young Park
Probable Starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere, Giroud
Both teams love to raid forward and attack. Arsenal’s squad is stretched and that only compounds to a hard game, and Swansea could pull off a win here.
Swansea 1-2 Arsenal