Arsenal - Swansea Preview: Gunners are yet to win in 2013
After Danny Graham's forced a replay, Arsene Wenger's side must overcome a Swans side unbeaten in seven to keep their hopes of a first major trophy since 2005 alive
By Tim Poole
Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski
Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies
De Guzman, Ki
Dyer, Pablo, Routledge
Mikel Arteta is expected to be out for three weeks after picking up a calf strain, while defender Laurent Koscielny is suspended after his red card against Manchester City.
Andre Santos and Abou Diaby are expected to be fit for selection after recent injuries but might not be risked with a trip to Stamford Bridge looming the following weekend.
Elsewhere, Oliver Giroud may feature at the expense of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Lukas Podolski, while Carl Jenkinson is also likely to play a part at right-back.
The visitors, meanwhile, only have Neil Taylor on the casualty list with a fractured ankle, although midfielder Leon Britton could be rested for a second consecutive game with fatigue.
Michael Laudrup will be keen to use Michu - who has scored three times in his last two games against Arsenal - though Danny Graham could feature after scoring four goals in his last five appearances, including efforts against the Gunners and Chelsea.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Arsenal have not won yet in 2013, with their last win having come in the 7-3 drubbing of Newcastle in late December.
- Theo Walcott leads the way in Arsenal's top scorers charts with 14 goals in all competitions. The winger-cum-forward has scored eight goals in the Premier League, five in the Capital One Cup and one in the Champions League.
- The Gunners have won the FA Cup 10 times, one less than record holders Manchester United. The last time the north London side won the tournament was in 2005, which was the last time they won a major trophy.
- In four previous FA Cup meetings, Arsenal have beaten Swansea twice and lost once, while the most recent meeting finished 2-2, prompting Wednesday night's replay.
- The furthest Swansea have progressed in the FA Cup is the semi-finals stage, which the Welsh side achieved in 1926 and 1964.
- The Swans are currently on a seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions, featuring tough tests against Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton.
- Swansea's top scorer, Michu (pictured right), was on target within two minutes of coming off the bench in the original tie. The Spaniard also scored twice when the sides met in the Premier League, helping the Swans leave the Emirates Stadium with a 2-0 win.
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Top 3 Predictions
Arsenal FC 2-1 Swansea City
- 16.08 %
Arsenal FC 3-1 Swansea City
- 14.46 %
Arsenal FC 2-0 Swansea City
- 9.64 %
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Sep 2013||Swansea City 1 - Arsenal FC 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||16 Mar 2013||Swansea City 0 - Arsenal FC 2|
|FA Cup (FA)||16 Jan 2013||Arsenal FC 1 - Swansea City 0|
|FA Cup (FA)||6 Jan 2013||Swansea City 2 - Arsenal FC 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Dec 2012||Arsenal FC 0 - Swansea City 2|
|8 Dec 2013||Arsenal FC 1 - Everton 1||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Arsenal FC 2 - Hull City 0||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||Cardiff 0 - Arsenal FC 3||EPL|
|26 Nov 2013||Arsenal FC 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0||UCL|
|23 Nov 2013||Arsenal FC 2 - Southampton 0||EPL|
|20||Jonathan De Guzmán||Midfielder|
The playmaker is seen in many quarters as the future of both the Arsenal and English national sides and will surely play a key part if the Gunners are to progress on Wednesday night. While Walcott is likely to lead matters from the front, Wilshere will undoubtedly pull the strings from midfield; the 21-year-old's ability to stay composed under pressure should be the guiding light for his side.
Swansea's top scorer in all competitions and a threat that the Gunners are no doubt already having nightmares about - the 25-year-old Spaniard will be a handful whenever he has the ball in the Arsenal half. If it is not his work-rate clinical finishing that catches the Gunners' backline out, it will be his penchant for trickery or ability to just as easily find the killer pass.
The Gunners will be desperate to give a good showing in front of their home fans, but they will be made to work incredibly hard by the Swans. However, Michael Laudrup's men have had a heavily-congested fixture list in recent weeks, and tiredness may just begin to creak into a few players' legs.
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed