Swansea City defender Angel Rangel says he expects Arsenal to bounce back from their humiliating 8-2 defeat by Manchester United ahead of the Welsh side’s trip to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
After the shock loss, the London club promptly went on a spending spree before the end of the transfer window, and Rangel believes Swansea will be facing a much tougher side as a result.
“It was a shock to see the 8-2 scoreline at Manchester United because Arsenal are renowned for their strong defence,” the Spaniard said to Swansea’s official website.
“In the past, they had players like Tony Adams and Lee Dixon who ensured they had a rock solid defence and everyone knew it would be tough trying to score against them.
“So to see Arsenal concede eight goals was very strange. Saying that, they had a penalty saved when they were 1-0 down, so if that goes in then maybe the score will be totally different at the end.
“They will be fired up and looking to make up for that defeat - we know that - and they have reacted to that by making some great signings.
“Per Mertesacker is a quality defender who will bring a lot of experience to that defence. They have superb players going forward, but someone like Mertesacker is exactly what they needed at the back.
“The left-back Andre Santos is highly-rated too, while Mikel Arteta has so much quality. He is a very skilful player who is comfortable on the ball.
“The same goes for Yossi Benayoun. He has been unlucky at Chelsea but he will be a great signing for Arsenal.
“I know they were criticised a lot after their last defeat, and you hear some pundits saying they will struggle to be in the top seven or eight. But that's crazy - they will be in the top five, at least.”
Swansea have yet to score but have also kept two consecutive clean sheets, and Rangel expects that they will need to keep that defensive record up against the Gunners.
“When you look at their squad you can see they have quality attacking players in Theo Walcott, Andrey Arshavin, Robin van Persie along with Arteta and Benayoun,” he continued.
“They will test the best teams in the world, so we know we have to be strong at the back.
“The Premier League is a place where you can't switch off for a second, because these guys will punish you.
“But we have shown already with two clean sheets that we can stop quality players from scoring against us.
“At Manchester City we held them out for an hour and did very well before they went on to score.
“But that experience was great for us. Not just the actual game, but the stadium and the atmosphere created by the supporters.
“It helped prepare us for what was to come, and I think we have done well so far.
“People say it may be a good time to play Arsenal, while others think it's a bad time.
“But Arsenal are a quality team, so it doesn't matter when you play them. You know you are in for a very tough game.”