Swansea City v Arsenal: Premier League Match Preview
Swansea City host Arsenal in the Premier League at the Liberty Stadium tonight (7.45pm kick-off UK time).
Both clubs are looking to bring in reinforcements in the closing two days of the transfer window.
Swansea City want to strengthen their squad to assist their fight against relegation.
Whilst Arsenal are reported to have agreed a £60m move for Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. That move depends on Dortmund signing a replacement Aubameyang before the transfer window closes tomorrow.
The Swans go into tonight’s match bottom of the Premier League, table with 20 points from 24 matches.
They have the division’s worst home record, with three wins and 11 points from 12 games.
Since the appointment of Carlos Carvalhal to replace Paul Clement as manager though they have been beaten just once in seven matches in all competitions.
Swansea have earned seven points in their four Premier League games under Carlos Carvalhal (W2 D1 L1), two more than they’d picked up in their 12 before his arrival (W1 D2 L9).
Alfie Mawson scored the winner as the hosts beat Liverpool 1-0 at home in their last Premier League outing.
It earned them a vital 3 points in their fight against relegation and moved them to within 3 points of safety in the table.
Arsenal are in 6th place in the Premier League table with 42 points from 24 matches.
The Gunners away form in the Premier League this season has been abysmal.
Arsenal have picked up just 13 points after 12 Premier League away games (W3 D4 L5) – their worst record at this stage of a season since 2005-06 (12 points from 12 games).
Arsene Wenger’s side would be ninth in the league table based on away results only.
The Gunners could go five successive away matches without a win in all competitions for the first time since November to December 2012.
Arsenal have won 27 and lost only one of their last 34 league fixtures against bottom-of-the-table sides since a 4-3 loss at Blackburn in September 2011.
Swansea City have won five of their 13 Premier League matches against Arsenal – only Chelsea and Manchester United, both with seven, have fared better against the Gunners during this period.
However, the Swans have lost four of the last five league meetings, including each of the last three.
Arsenal beat Swansea City 2-1 when the teams met in the reverse Premier League fixture at the Emirates Stadium on 28th October 2017. Sam Clucas gave the Swans a half-time lead, but the Gunners won the three points thanks to second half goals from Sead Kolasinac and Aaron Ramsey.
The Gunners also won 4-0 on their last Premier League visit to the Liberty Stadium on 17th January 2017. The goals that day were scored by Olivier Giroud, Jack Cork (OG), Kyle Naughton (OG) and Alexis Sanchez.
Centre back Alfie Mawson has been attracting the attention of Premier League rivals with his displays this season. His goal against Liverpool meant he is only the second Swansea player to score more than once in the Premier League at the Liberty Stadium this season, after Tammy Abraham (three).
The departure of Alexis Sanchez puts more pressure on Alexandre Lacazette to deliver goals, particularly away from the Emirates Stadium. He has scored only two goals in 12 away league appearances, with his last goal being in November’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester City.
Carvahal’s then-Sheffield Wednesday side beat Arsenal 3-0 at home in the League Cup in October 2015.
“When I arrive in England everything is magic, the competition, the players, the stadium and the fans. Every game is special when you are last in the competition because the other teams are doing better.
“All games are important. Teams like Arsenal, City, Liverpool and so on. All players and managers want to be in these games. It is the top when you face these teams and we want to enjoy the game, the atmosphere and try to create a strategy to block them and damage them by scoring goals. These things don’t happen often so we must be at 100 per cent, it must be a fantastic night. These surprises can happen.
“We play a very strong team, they have big strengths to win the game. They have a fantastic squad and coach. They are one of the best teams in England and the world. We will do our job, we will fight and block the dynamic of Arsenal, We will have to work very hard and expose their weak points. They have very few but we will try to exploit it, we will fight to win and we don’t play to draw. We will have our opportunities to play and score. It will be a hard game and we will fight for the three points but it will be very difficult.
“I cannot talk about the Arsenal fans, but he (Arsene Wenger) has done a great job over many years. The recent years may not of been as he would like but they are a very good side. When we analyse them we know they have great attackers with quality and a good dynamic we have to try and block. All these things are made by a very good manager.
“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 absolute total offensive performance.
When you anticipate the league you think as well that you have to make your ground up before April because in April you have a few teams. What we noticed last year is that some of the teams who battled to be safe, once they were safe they lost many games and so it was more difficult to make ground up after April because some teams, once they’re safe, they gave up and were a bit less focused and lost easy games. You could see scores of 4-0 after 20 minutes for example and so that’s why this period is vital for us.
It’s tougher because when you look at the results for what has changed compared to 10 years ago is that the teams are ready to fight for 90 minutes, they are ready to be organised for 90 minutes and there is no weak moments in their organisation. You see more and more teams with 30 per cent possession who win the game, it was not always the case like with Swansea against Liverpool and we see that more and more.”
Renato Sanches misses out tonight with a muscle problem.
Federico Fernandez is available after missing the FA Cup tie at Notts County on Saturday because of a nose injury.
Lukasz Fabianski, Sam Clucas and Jordan Ayew are among several players expected to be recalled after being rested for Saturday’s FA Cup tie.
Roque Mesa is set to depart on a loan deal to Sevilla.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to make his Arsenal debut.
Olivier Giroud is fit to return after a hamstring injury. Whether he will feature tonight due to the transfer speculation surrounding his future will be awaited with interest.
Referee: Lee Mason
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Stuart Burt
Fourth official: Roger East
Arsenal to win 3-1.