By Bulldog Drummond.
Shock horror disaster!!!
Danny Welbeck has scored three goals in four Barclays Premier League games against Swansea City, and he is out injured!!!
(I think I am getting the hang of this jouno hysteria).
But of course Arsène Wenger knows exactly what’s what. “I’m ready to change but we had a stability on the tactical front, the confidence was there and I didn’t change recently.” he said.
So plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, as they used to say in 1849. (I think it means there’s more money left over when I sell my mum’s old winter woolies, or something).
We’ve named the same eleven for the fourth time in a row in the PL – the last time they did this was in March-April 1996. The last time we did five in a row was January 1994 when the manager was George Graham.
The only change we can see on the horizon is Aaron Ramsey, rated 50-50 after sustaining a knock to the fibula against Hull. But with Jack available why take any risk with Ramsey even if he is fit?
So I will go with…
Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
Wilshere Ozil Sanchez
Szczesny, Chambers, Gibbs, Gabriel, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott, Ramsey(?) Gnabry would welcome a chance to make up the numbers if anyone else drops out.
Not yet up to it…
Arteta, Debuchy, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck, all of whom should be available next week unless they do something silly in the meanwhile.
So, we are on a 10-match unbeaten run in the league, of which we have won nine. Mr Wenger however added an extra perspective…
“It is difficult to know how strong every team will be next year but you gain as well your confidence from what you have achieved the year before and how you have moved forward. That is why it is very important that we continue to be consistent until the end of the season.”
As for Swansea Bafetimbi Gomis is probably going to start. Hylfi Sigurdsson will also be there, and these are the two who did the damage in November. Last season it was a 2-2 draw, with a fluke Mathieu Flamini own goal in the final seconds.
Gomis has missed the last three games injured but Jordi Amat, Oliveira, Kyle Naughton, Tom Carroll and Wayne Routledge are injured. Jazz Richards and Dwight Tiendalli are back from loan spells.
Swansea in recent times haven’t been too overwhelming…
- 2 May: Swansea 2 Stoke 0
- 25 April: Newcastle 2 Swansea 3
- 18 April: Leicester 2 Swansea 0
- 11 April: Swansea 1 Everton 1
- 4 April: Swansea 3 Hull 1
- 21 March: Aston Villa 1 Swansea 0
- 16 March: Swansea 0 Liverpool 1
- 4 March: Tottenham 3 Swansea 2
Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 4.
But Swansea have already done the double over Man U, and have got their best ever Premier League points total and could finish above Southampton. The team in seventh will get a Europa League qualifying round spot if we win the FA Cup. (The only problem with this is that the qualifying rounds started last December).
And we have to note that Swansea are looking towards a third consecutive league win, something they last achieved in the opening three matches of the season. And they have won two of their last three away matches.
As for this game, well, 21 of the last 22 goals have been scored in the second half of the match, so you can have an extra time at the bar and come to your seat in the second half.
As you’ll know we have won 24, drawn 9 lost 1 of the last 34 league games at the Stadium Wenger, and let in two in the last seven. More of that would do me fine.
Overall we’ve played them seven times in the Prem, with three wins each, and a draw.
What other facts and figures have we got?
No one has assisted as many Premier League goals as Santi Cazorla since August 2012. He has 28, and his signing was condemned by some (you know who you are) as another bit of Wenger picking up the bits and pieces from a club in trouble. (It was Málaga).
Whoscored.com give a prediction of 2-0, which has been something of a favourite score of ours of late with Sanchez as man of the match.
As for the game, here’s what they make of it…
- We’ll control the game in Swansea’s half, will score as a result of individual skills, and there will be few cards shown.
- We’ll dominate in the air, create lots of scoring chances, score from a direct freekick and score the other from play down the wing.
So now you know. Hardly worth going.
Still, I think I might. After all, we have to raise a glass to Blacksheep for his massively increasing the Green vote in Northampton.
A couple more anniversaries, just to keep us going…
11 May 1910: George Leavey, the major shareholder in Woolwich Arsenal, admitted he had not got enough local people to buy shares in the club, and would search for others from outside the area to buy, or else put the club into administration. He got Henry Norris and administration was avoided.
11 May 1972: Quite amazingly for the 3rd year running Arsenal concluded their league season playing Tottenham. This game was lost 0-2 at Highbury as Arsenal come in 5th. The top league goalscorer was Kennedy with 12.
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