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Swansea v Arsenal: the prelims and early team news

By Bulldog Drummond

The early team news

Coquelin and Bellerin are still about a week away from returning, Theo is maybe two weeks from returning.   Gibbs and Mert are also out as well, obviously, as are Santi Cazorla and Mohamed Elneny.

But coming back (and I would have thought absolutely certain to play) are Mesut Ozil, Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez.  The only question is whether Giroud is kept in reserve for a big finish – in which case we could see Alexis start at centre forward and then go to the wing for the last 20 as Giroud forces Swansea into a total rethink.

Here’s the physioroom injury table

Club Injuries Latest
1 Watford 11 C Cathcart
2 Hull City 10 A McGregor
2 Sunderland 10 W Khazri
4 Crystal Palace 8 W Hennessey
5 Arsenal 7 H Bellerin
5 Everton 7 A Lennon
5 Southampton 7 S Davis
8 West Ham United 6 M Antonio
8 Burnley 6 A Barnes
10 Stoke City 5 B Krkic
10 Liverpool 5 J Henderson
10 Manchester City 5 K de Bruyne
13 Middlesbrough 4 G Ramirez
13 Swansea City 4 L Narsingh

And the list of Arsenal players with estimated return dates

Player Injury Return date
H Bellerin Ankle Injury January 22, 2017
F Coquelin Hamstring Injury January 22, 2017
K Gibbs Knee Injury January 22, 2017
T Walcott Calf Strain January 31, 2017
M Debuchy Hamstring Injury January 31, 2017
P Mertesacker Knee Injury January 31, 2017
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury March 18, 2017

Looking forward to the game, this is one of those occasions where the away team has a far stronger record than the home team.

Here are the home and away tables 

This is where it starts to look particularly positive in terms of Arsenal…

Swansea’s recent form is two wins, in between which were four defeats.  Arsenal’s is three wins, one draw and two defeats.    But perhaps more to the point Arsenal’s away form (five wins, three draws and two defeats) is far better than Swansea’s home form (two wins, two draws, six defeats).    The goal difference is quite solidly in Arsenal’s favour as well: +11 for Arsenal away, -9 for Swansea at home.

Swansea’s recent poor run in the league came to an end in the last match with a victory over Fat Sam and Co, but prior to that things were not so good with four straight defeats.  Points and position are shown for after the result.

In the analysis charts, Arsenal away from home are the top scorers of goals from open play (19) while Swansea at home are second in the list of teams scoring from set pieces with seven.  Only West Brom beat them with eight set piece goals this season at home.

Swansea seem to have two particular weaknesses according to the stats – defending counter attacks and defending against through balls.  With Ozil back in the team, this is Arsenal’s master tactic and so certainly should see us travelling in the right direction.

Across the years, from Swansea’s point of view…

Across the Premier League years Swansea’s record against Arsenal is three wins and four defeats

16 Mar 2013 Swansea City v Arsenal L 0-2 Premier League
28 Sep 2013 Swansea City v Arsenal L 1-2 Premier League
25 Mar 2014 Arsenal v Swansea City D 2-2 Premier League
09 Nov 2014 Swansea City v Arsenal W 2-1 Premier League
11 May 2015 Arsenal v Swansea City W 0-1 Premier League
31 Oct 2015 Swansea City v Arsenal L 0-3 Premier League
02 Mar 2016 Arsenal v Swansea City W 1-2 Premier League
15 Oct 2016 Arsenal v Swansea City L 3-2 Premier League

That’s about as good as it gets for Swansea, especially when we move onto…

Swansea’s recent form

Date  Opposition Venue Result Pos Pts
16 14.12.2016 West Bromwich Albion away L1-3 18 12
17 17.12.2016 Middlesbrough away L0-3 19 12
18 26.12.2016 West Ham United home L1-4 19 12
19 31.12.2016 Bournemouth home L0-3 20 12
20 03.01.2017 Crystal Palace away W2-1 19 15

Arsenal’s last five games haven’t been the highlight of the season either, but three unbeaten puts us back on form after the two away defeats before Christmas.

Date Oppositioin Venue Result Pos Pts
16 13.12.2016 Everton away L1-2 2 34
17 18.12.2016 Manchester City away L1-2 4 34
18 26.12.2016 West Bromwich Albion home W1-0 4 37
19 01.01.2017 Crystal Palace home W2-0 3 40
20 03.01.2017 Bournemouth away D3-3 4 41

In the next piece we’ll look at the teams.

 Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

4 comments to Swansea v Arsenal: the prelims and early team news

  • para

    Either Arsenal.com knows something, the spuds game is cancelled or they just do not think spuds will win at 12.30 v West Brom.

    See, they state:
    ” Fifth place on Friday could feasibly be second place by Monday.”

    Let’s hope it’s the last one.
    And we have to WIN of course.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hoping for a win despite a mediocre recent record against them.
    But, can see us conceding a pen…..again. We have now conceded six. Only Hull have conceded more.From what I can see, only two EPL clubs have conceded ten pens since 2003, with our away games against Chelsea and the Spuds, and the refs we know we are going to get at those venues, think our vicious cheating players could be heading into record territory in terms of penalties conceded this season.

  • Gord

    I don’t know where the medja heard about it, but apparently Santi has needed some more surgery. Which puts his return data back some more.

    Bummer! He is such a nice player to watch.

  • para

    Gord:
    Sure looks like Santi is not going to play a big part at Arsenal again. Hope we can find a real suitable replacement.
    His play was a joy to watch and i hope we do get to see him again though.