Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Swansea (H)

Firstly apologies for not having a preview up for the City game, I've been extremely busy recently and still am to an extent. I'll start with just a little bit on the City match. It was a game that was undoubtedly influenced by the sending off of Koscielny for rugby tackling Dzeko in our box. From there we never really looked like getting back into it and although the second half was a lot better, the game had gone. We were dealt a big blow injury blow losing Arteta pre-match and I felt that led to the rushed decision to include Diaby in the squad, who although showed flashes of quality, showed more signs of a man who has played very little football recently. Overall a disappointing result.

With the injury to Arteta in mind the midfield tonight could be interesting. Rosicky is also out with a calf problem which causes yet more problems in the midfield. I think we'll see Ramsey come in to partner Cazorla and Wilshere but Diaby may also feature in his progression back to the team before his inevitable injury. There is the possibility of playing the more defensively minded Coquelin which I can also see Wenger going for to deal with the likes of Michu and Graham.

I think the side we'll play will be something along the lines of: SZCZ, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Alex OC, Podolski, Walcott. Obviously we're also without Koscielny due to his suspension, which he'll begin tonight. The team will have to be on top form tonight if we are to progress against a Swansea side who have already won at the Emirates this season. 

Obviously their main threat is Michu who just can't stop scoring at the moment, but they also have Graham and Routledge who can pop up with goals every now and then. Our full backs will need to be on form tonight and if they go forward they need to get back. Similarly I think Gibbs will need some help from Podolski who seems to be reluctant to track back.

Tonight's match is critical for us in many ways, it represents our best chance of a trophy, it's a chance for us to return to winning ways and it's a chance for us to send a message to other teams in the league by showing them that we mean business. Till tonight we just won't know. COYG!

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Swansea