Date and Time: 15th January 2011 at 9:30 PM IST
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Live Telecast on ESPN
Arsenal’s fight for the top four starts with the very next match against Swansea and with a win getting them back to the top 4 at least till the Chelsea match. The Gunners last outing in the Premiership was a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Fulham and they will be looking to turn things around. Swansea have only conceded 4 goals at home this season so far and only United have escaped with the full 3 points, so things will be tricky for the North London side. However, they’ve played United and Spurs only out of the big teams at home, and only picked up a late point against Spurs, although they were impressive. We should also remember what happened last time we played them and had it not been a blunder by their in form keeper that match was also a difficult one for us. But then things have changed a lot in the last couple of weeks with the King’s return and the Leeds games showed that he has also got some kind of spirit into the team.
The team pretty much picks itself for this match with all the injuries and a couple of players out for the African Cup of Nations. Van Persie will return to the starting 11 after being rested for the Leeds match. With 17 goals this season we can pray that his form in front continues to this year too. There is a lot of talk of Henry playing with RVP after Wenger suggesting the same, but doubt if we could see that for this game. Arshavin will start on the left wing , he looked promising in the match against Leeds, whom we rate very highly but unfortunately he has not been in any kind of form the whole season. What he lacks is consistency but with Gervinho not available we will see how useful Arshavin is to the team. Walcott would also start on the right wing and our midfield would have the trio of Ramsey, Arteta and Song.
Brendan Rodgers’s Swansea has had a pretty good outing till now in the Premiere League after getting promoted and they will look to continue that in the second half of the season to make sure they are still in the league next year. Its their no nonsense football that has been impressive and Swansea manager has almost a full squad to choose from. Inform keeper Michel Vorm, Joe Allen, Steven Caulker and Scott Sinclair are likely to return after being rested against Barnsley in the FA Cup. Sinclair would be their threat and Djrouou will have to be at his best to cut the forward out in the match.
Thierry Henry provided one of the most memorable moments of the season with his match-winning return to the Arsenal side against Leeds in the FA Cup. Despite the impact of what he did in the FA Cup, he is likely to start on the bench again on Sunday would come on later in the second half.
On the team news Francis Coquelin will be out for the next three weeks.Rosicky and Mertesacker missed the FA cup match due to illness and are yet to make it to training , Wenger has confirmed that he would take a call today on them.Wenger has also given hope that Thomas Vermaelen and Sagna has a chance to make it for the Man U match. Swansea have kept six clean sheets at home this season and the four teams that have scored against them have managed only one goal each.Thierry Henry travels to south Wales having scored against all 34 different teams he has ever faced in the Premier League so far, so it would be interesting to see if he can keep that record going.
Our biggest problems are the lack of fit full-backs and an inability to take chances in front of goal. There’s very little that can be done about the situation with their full-backs, but hopefully, they can be more lethal in front of goal. Swansea have an impressive home record this season , and they will feel they have a real chance of getting some point from this game. They have only lost once at home so far this season in 10 Premier League games, and they have only conceded four goals in those games something they lead with only the league leaders Manchester City. Lets hope that we regain goal scoring form and get a convincing win in the match.
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