After what seems like an eternity of nothingness, an abyss of darkness and non-footballyness (not a word), we have a Arsenal fixture to get our proverbial teeth stuck into. And it’s another – as they all seem to be at present – which I’d consider both vital for keeping the pace with Chelsea and those around them, as well as being a potentially tricky game for the glorious men in red ‘n’ white to navigate.
Swansea haven’t looked at all like the team they once were, and Bob Bradley’s appointment and subsequent dismisall was nothing short of farcically bad. But it’s always worth remembering they have players of quality in Sigurdsson and Llorente and they’ll causes problems if they fancy it on the day with their own fans behind them. It’s considered fact amongst most rival fans that Arsenal can be something of a soft touch on their travels, so, as is customary, I’ll be expecting our opponents to try and put pressure on our back four and not allow our creative players any room to breathe.
Today we’ll be without Bellerin, Coquelin and Walcott as well as the usual longer term absentees. Cech and Koscielny both will return to the side after sitting out the FA Cup win at Preston and, miraculously, Mesut Ozil has recovered from his life-threatening fight against the dreaded man-flu. Or so we’re lead to believe… I’ve said before I’m sceptical about the real reason for his period away from the Club. Would it be wrong to suggest he was given a little break under the disguise of illness? Perhaps, but I hope not. However, he does seem to go missing for little breaks every now and then…
The team should essentially pick itself today. We have only Xhaka and Ramsey fit to occupy the central midfield roles. Giroud’s goalscoring form should see him start upfront with a trio of Perez (due another start), Alexis and Ozil behind him. The only position I can see a decision to be made is covering Bellerin. Whether Arsene will opt for Jenkinson or Gabriel remains to be seen. My guess would be the latter as the former’s performances since returning form loan have looked shaky.
On paper, we should dispatch our opponents with ease today. We are coming off the back of a decent run of result (I say decent not it’s truest sense, but in the “meh” manner in which it’s use has become known), so we shouldn’t have any trouble getting 3 points today. Of course, we all know what it’s like as Arsenal fans. The team won’t let you feel too confident about any game given their propensity for making a relatively simple fixture into hard work.
However, I do feel confident we’ll win today and win comfortably. Our attack should be too much for them to contain with a defence that looks considerably weaker following Ashley Williams’ departure. In midfield, the axis of Xhaka and Ramsey (the much-fabled ‘Ramshaka’) will be on display and I’m very much looking forward to seeing them perform together. We should be too strong in all areas of the pitch today.
I’ll predict a comfortable 4-0 win. Ballsy, but I’m sticking with it. Just don’t come to me with sour-faced complaints when we somehow lose 3-1 after Swansea only have 1 shot on target. This is Arsenal. Anything can happen.
That’s all for today, folks. I’ll be back with more tomorrow. Until then, drop me a comment, share all this on social media and, as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.