Arsenal vs. Swansea City
Jan 16, 2013
7.30pm (UK )
Arsenal welcome welsh side Swansea in the FA cup third round rematch hoping to get past them this time around. An additional fixture to add up the already busy January schedule for both the clubs. Arsenal and Swansea couldn’t be separated at the Liberty stadium on January 6th as the the home side scored a 90th minute equaliser courtesy of a goal from their striker Graham. After initially playing out a dull first half both the teams came out with a purpose in the second half and the match was well worth the money. Arsenal totally dominated the game and though Swansea scored the first goal, the Gunners kept pressing and scored two quick fire goals before the Swans pulled one back. Arsenal once again have a daunting task of facing Michu who has already scored thrice in the previous two meetings against them.
The Gunners are are in desperate need of some positive results and last week’s encounter against City din’t help them either as they went down 2-0 to the Champions. With a tough January ahead of them, a win tonight means more than a progress to the next round. It will also ease the pressure on Wenger to some extend as the Gunners will stay in the FA cup hunt. Swansea also had a tough weekend as they faced Everton but not as bitter a result like their opponents. Laudrup’s men managed to pick up a point at Everton and continue their 5 match unbeaten streak.
The Swans will be hoping to turn over the home advantage that Arsenal have and Michu will be the man they will rely on. If the Spaniard has a good game then the Welsh side has got every chance of going through to the next round.
Talking ahead of the game Swansea manager, Michael Laudrup said:
“I like London, we have only lost to Tottenham there. We have done really well there and it’s also more than two months where we have only lost two games, and apart from those two the last defeat was to Manchester City, the Premier League champions, away. This gives us a lot of confidence which is important because when you make changes and people come in, they fit in and feel that confidence.”
We will have to wait and see if Laudrup’s confidence pays off tonight.
Arsenal will continue to miss out on Milkel Arteta through injury. It was also reported that Thomas Rosicky will take no part in the game as he is suffering from a calf injury. No other injury concerns for Arsenal other than the long term absentees. With Arteta missing the game it is expected that the French man Diaby will be given another chance in the midfield along side Wilshere. It is up to Wenger to decide whether or not he starts with Ramsey in the midfield or continue with the combination of Cazorla and Wilshere.
Koscielny starts his three match ban from today which means Vermaelen and Mertesacker will be the automatic choice. Coquelin, Jenkison and Arshavin could also expect some game time.
Mean while Swansea could start with Graham in the striking role, allowing Michu to operate from a deeper position. If Laudrup decides to rotate his squad, then the likes of Routledge, De Guzman could be in the starting line-up.
Swansea City: WDDWD
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sanga, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere; Walcott, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Swansea City: Vorm; Tiendalli, Williams, Chico, Davies; Britton, De Guzman; Hernandez, Michu, Routledge; Graham
- Arsenal haven’t failed to make the Fourth Round of the FA Cup since 1996.
- Michu has struck three times in his last two games against Arsenal.
- Five of the six goals scored between Arsenal and Swansea this season have came in the final 10 minutes of matches.
- Danny Graham has scored four goals in his last five FA Cup appearances, including the late equaliser against Arsenal in the last game.
Facts Courtesy: Yahoo Sport
Prediction: 2-1 win for the home side.
Watch the highlights from the previous game here
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