With all this furore surrounding transfers and who’s leaving and who’s isn’t, it’s been pretty easy to overlook the fact we have the small measure of a league fixture this evening. We travel to Swansea’s Liberty Stadium in sunny Wales to face the side currently languishing bottom in the league table, but a side that registered an impressive victory over Liverpool in their previous game.
3 points is an absolute must tonight. And we’ll have to be at the top of our game to make sure that it happens. It’s often easy to be complacent because of a team’s place in the league table, but Swansea will be dangerous opponents if we don’t take them 100% seriously. When speaking to the rest ahead of kick-off, Arsene spoke of the lessons to be learned from Liverpool’s recent defeat at the Liberty Stadium:
“When you don’t win, you are criticised and I think Liverpool tried and what is a good warning for us is that Liverpool are an attacking team – you cannot criticise them for not attacking, they are very dangerous going forward and they didn’t manage to score against Swansea.
“That is a good warning for us that we have to produce an absolute total offensive performance.”
The teams news looks good. Danny Welbeck and, bless his diminutive socks, Santi Cazorla remain unlikely to feature for quite some time while Olivier Giroud is unlikely to get any playing time having just recovered from injury. (Giroud could, conceivably, never again kick a ball for Arsenal if he’s transferred out in the next 36 hours). Ramsey returns to full fitness and there are no new concerns at the back. New signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to make his debut.
With attack our best form of defence against a team likely to allow us the majority of the ball, I don’t imagine we’ll deploy the 3-5-2 system. I’m guessing it’ll be a 4-3-3 with Mkhitaryan and Ozil starting behind Lacazette.
Something like this:
That would be a very interesting line-up for me, especially as it’s extremely creative. Perhaps it leaves us a little lightweight in defence, and that is always a worry with Arsenal teams, well…. for the last 10-12 years. Tonight it shouldn’t matter much as I expect we’ll have too much for Swansea and we’ll win comfortably by a couple of goals. This is, of course, assuming we don’t go all ‘Arsenal’ and do something ‘Arsenal’.
I shall boldly predict a 3-0 win and a clean sheet for Petr Cech, which will be his 200th in the Premiership. He’s been stuck on 199 for the past 6 games and had this to say about the upcoming milestone:
“I am proud because when I came to the Premier League in 2004 obviously I was 22 years old and you think: ‘Oh wow, this is everything I dreamt about and I am here’.
So it was up to me to show I am capable of playing in this league and obviously since I started it all went the direction I wanted and I always wished for.
I have to say, sometimes when you look back and you speak about coming to 200 clean sheets in the Premier League and you see how many games everybody else needed to get there and nobody ever got that far, you think ‘it is something amazing’ and I hope it is going to go way longer than 200.
Here’s hoping those in front of Petr don’t do anything silly tonight…
That’s all for now, folks. I’ll be back at some point tomorrow to review the game.
Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
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