Grimly Determined Arsenal Out To Set The Record Straight
Match Preview: Swansea v. Arsenal – Prem League 09.11.2014
It’s clobberin’ time, and I hope I don’t enrage the animal rights crowd when I suggest that it’s a few swans that look to be on the business end of our clubs come Sunday. Some of the fainter of heart among us might look to Tuesday’s shock-draw with Anderlecht as evidence that the sky is falling; I prefer to think of it as raining down revenge. No, it’s not Swansea who are responsible for our midweek result, but it is they who will suffer the storm that follows.
In years past, we might look to our capitulation as the first in a long line of dominoes falling, but I sense a different spirit in this squad, one less susceptible to such collapse. In previous years, there was a fragility around us, a sense that we were always one misstep away from utter and abject catastrophe. While that sense is not entirely exorcised, I refuse to see a draw—one that did bring us one step closer to qualification—as the same kind of ramshackle result that has in the past derailed entire seasons. Yes, that draw might represent a low point, but it also carries with it the seeds of future successes. Let’s face it—we dominated the first 60 minutes and might have been ahead 6-0 but for some wasteful shots and some solid goal-keeping. We learned a lesson from this, I hope, after relaxing and allowing Anderlecht back into it.
Against Swansea, we’ll have to be more on our guard from the get-go. They had gotten off to a bright start to the season but have slowed a bit; still, their defense is among the best in the Prem, all the more so at home where their three goals conceded is matched by Chelsea and bettered by only Southampton (1). The Swans have some fight in them wherever they play, winning 1-2 at Old Trafford and losing 4-2 at Chelsea (accounting for 66% of Chelsea’s goals conceded at home). On the other hand, they’re woefully anemic at home, scoring only eight goals in five matches, with three of those coming in a win over West Brom so it might be worth checking out the odds on some sports betting apps for some away goals.
Breaking them down, then, seems to be the main task, as there’s somewhat less to worry about them coming at us. There’s this Polish bloke between the sticks for them, Fabio or Fabian or some such, who’s done well to this point, keeping five clean sheets in ten appearances. Still, the defenders in front of him—Taylor, Williams, Fernandez, and Rangel—are not known for their pace. Last I checked, we have a few attackers who like to run around and get in behind. Between Alexis, Ox, Welbeck, and perhaps Walcott, we should see them carve out a few chances.
However—and this might rankle a few—I’d like to see us absorb a bit of pressure in order to draw Swansea’s defense forward. Their recipe so far has been to defend doggedly and score opportunistically. Why play to their strengths? Far better to see us concede a bit of possession in order to lure them forward, all the better to create space behind the defense for our pacey wingers to run into. Ox reminded us what that looks and feels like when he burst forward against Anderlecht. Power and pace on the counter—not possession—that’s what matters.
LAST 3 Meetings
- Arsenal 2-2 Swansea (25.03.14)
- Swansea 1-2 Arsenal (28.09.13)
- Swansea 0-2 Arsenal (16.03.13)
- We first clashed with Swansea in October 1981—a 2-0 win to Swansea.
- Danny Welbeck has scored three goals in three appearances against Swansea.
- There have been nine goals scored in the last ten minutes of the last six matches between the two clubs.
Ospina, Giroud, Debuchy, Koscielny, Özil, and Arteta have been ruled out, and Wilshere faces a late fitness test due to illness.
POSSIBLE STARTING XI
Szczesny; Gibbs, Monreal, Mertesacker, Chambers; Flamini; Cazorla, Alexis, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Welbeck.
I see a grimly determined Arsenal squad ready to bounce back to a win after the Anderlecht draw, despite Swansea’s stalwart defense.
Swansea 1-3 Arsenalyour own article on YouWrite?
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