High flying Arsenal welcome Swansea on matchday 8 of the Premier League in what promises to be a tough start to his stint at the helm of the Welsh club for Bob Bradley. The Gunners have shrugged off an indifferent start to the season by winning 5 league games on the trot and currently sit in the third spot, just 2 points short of the top spot.
Swansea on the other hand, have endured a tough start to the season and have mustered just a solitary point from their last 5 league outings and will be keen to reverse the trend at the Emirates Stadium.
The Arsene Wenger led side remain without the services of Aaron Ramsey and Per Mertesacker as both the players are still recovering from their respective injuries. However, their absence has not impacted the team’s performances as Mustafi and Xhaka have proved to be able replacements for the duo.
However, it remains to be seen if Lucas Perez will feature in the game as he is nursing a knee injury and Wenger might be tempted to give another match day off to help him recover fully.
Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Cazorla, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi and Sanchez.
The Welsh club’s wretched form has coincided with injuries to certain key players who could miss the trip to North London, with Fernando Llorente, Jefferson Montero and Nathan Dyer expected to miss or feature in a limited capacity for the outing. Given the injury concerns, the side is expected to be led by their latest recruit Borja Baston, who will be keen to establish a name for himself in a new league.
Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Amat, Taylor, Cork, Fer, Barrow, Sigurdsson, Routledge and Baston
Walcott has been in glorious form since the beginning of the season and finally seems to have regained his spot in the starting 11, courtesy of his inspiring performances so far. The winger has proved to be a difficult customer to handle for the opposition defenders with his movement causing mayhem across the backline so far.
He has already scored 3 goals and assisted 2 more thus far in the season to improve on his credentials as one of the top attackers in England. While the numbers are pleasing, what has pleased the Gunners’ faithful is the link up play that has been on display by the player alongside other electrifying players like Sanchez, Iwobi and Ozil. Always willing to run behind the opposition’s defence, Walcott could prove to be a handful for Swansea with his pace and the creative instincts that lie in the side’s midfield.
The Spaniard has established a reputation for himself as a great presence to have in the box. He arrived at the Liberty Stadium having scored consistently for the likes of Deportivo La Coruna, Real Zaragoza and Eibar. However, he is yet to score for his new club and will be looking forward to get on the score sheet at the earliest to help his side revive their flailing season.
While they have found goals hard to come by so far in the season, having scored just 6, there remain no doubts as to what the likes of Sigurdsson, Fer, Routledge and Barrow could unleash on the best of their days. With Arsenal, it is only obvious that Swansea and Baston will have multiple chances in front of the goal and it would do his side a world of good if the Spanish striker converts the chances that come his way.
- There is not much to separate the two sides in terms of their historical performances with Arsenal winning 7 out of the 15 games compared to Swansea’s 6 victories.
- Arsenal have failed to beat Swansea at home in their last 4 league meetings at home, losing 3 and drawing 1. Their last victory over Swansea came in the 2011-12 season when they beat them 1-0 courtesy of an Andrey Arshavin goal.
Arsenal have been in great form over the course of the last few weeks and an underperforming Swansea side at home could prove to be cannon fodder for the Gunners. We expect the Gunners to run out comfortable 3-0 winners.