Emirates Stadium hosts visitors from South Wales.
Arsene Wenger has seen his side fail to take the spoils from visits to Aston Villa and Everton and will hope to take three points from this home fixture with stylish Swansea City to get the Gunners’ push for the top four back on track. Confidence had been buoyed by the thrashing of Tottenham and a win over Montpellier that secured passage to the last 16 of the Champions League but the lack of a consistent cutting edge up-front has once again cost the North Londoners dear.
Swansea City are on a five match unbeaten run that has seen Michael Laudrup’s side rise up to eighth spot and the Liberty Stadium side have been strong in defence on their travels, conceding just seven goals in six games; this fixture may be tighter than some would have imagined.
Venue Emirates Stadium, Saturday 3pm
Last season Arsenal 1 Swansea City 0
Referee M Clattenburg
This season’s matches 7 Y30, R4, 4.86 cards per game
Odds Arsenal 2-5 Swansea 13-2 Draw 7-2
Subs from Mannone, Martínez, Gnabry, Chamberlain, Ramsey, Squillaci, Djourou, Coquelin, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Chamakh, Miquel, Yennaris, Diaby, Rosicky
Doubtful Sagna (foot), Walcott (ankle), Podolski (virus) Injured André Santos (stomach, unknown), Koscielny (thigh, uknown), Fabianski (ankle, Jan)
Form guide DDWDLW
Disciplinary record Y13 R1
Leading scorers Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud, Podolski 4
Subs from Cornell, Monk, Shechter, Moore, Tiendalli, Situ, Agustien, Gower, Richards
Doubtful Flores (shoulder)
Injured Graham (illness, 8 Dec), Vorm (groin, 23 Dec), Hernández (thigh, unknown), Taylor (ankle, May), Bartley (thigh, unknown)
Form guide WDWDDL
Disciplinary record Y27 R2
Leading scorer Michu 8
This is only the 12th meeting between these clubs, and seventh in the league. Arsenal lead by six wins to Swansea’s four overall, with one draw.
Swansea’s only victory away to Arsenal came in the top flight in February 1982.
Arsenal have recorded their lowest points tally after 14 matches under Arsene Wenger. They last fared worse in 1994, when they had 19 points at the equivalent stage of the season.
They have won only three of their last nine league matches at the Emirates Stadium (W3, D4, L2).
Nonetheless, they have only been outscored once in the second half of matches this season.
They are the only club yet to concede in the final 15 minutes of a Premier League match this season.
The Gunners have won their last five matches in which Mark Clattenburg was referee.
Theo Walcott could make his 100th Premier League start for Arsenal.
The Swans are unbeaten in their last five league fixtures, their best spell in the top flight since a club record nine-match streak from January to March 1982.
They are looking to win back-to-back league away matches for the first time since March.
Their five wins this season have all come after scoring first – they and Manchester United are the only Premier League clubs not to drop any points from winning positions.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
fanatix prediction 2-1. Arsenal should just have enough to edge it.
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