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Premier League

  • January 15, 2012
  • • 16:00
  • • Liberty Stadium, Swansea
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 20409
3
FT
2

Premier League Preview: Swansea - Arsenal

As Arsene Wenger's side shape up for their first ever Premier League appearance at the Liberty Stadium, they will again be hindered by a spate of long term injuries to defenders


PROBABLE LINEUPS

SWANSEA CITY

Vorm
Caulker, Williams, Taylor, Rangel
Dyer, Allen, Orlandi, Routledge
Graham, Sinclair
ARSENAL

Szczesny
Djourou, Koscielny, Squillaci, Miquel
Arteta, Ramsey, Song
Walcott, Van Persie, Henry

Brendan Rodgers will be happy that he has an almost full squad to choose from. Michel Vorm, Joe Allen, Steven Caulker and Scott Sinclair will all probably be back after being rested against Barnsley in the FA Cup, while Gylfi Sigurdsson could get a full debut.

It is likely Rodgers will opt for the pace of Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Sinclair to take advantage of the makeshift Arsenal defence.

Also eligible to face the Gunners are two youngsters whose transfers recently received international clearance - former France youth international captain Darnel Situ, a defender, who joined from Lens and has been training with the Swans since August; and Rory Donnelly, a Northern Ireland Under-21 international striker who has arrived from Cliftonville. One or both could possibly make the bench.

For Arsenal, Thierry Henry is likely to come in for Gervinho, who is on international duty, as is Marouane Chamakh. Arsene Wenger continues to be without a host of defenders, including Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos, who are all injured. Another defender, Per Mertesacker, was suffering from sickness along with Tomas Rosicky, and both are doubts to face Swansea. Jack Wilshere remains sidelined.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Thierry Henry (pictured right) has scored against each of the last 34 teams which he has faced in the Premier League.
  • Arsenal have won their last three league games against Swansea by a one goal margin the first two coming in the 1982-83 season.
  • Andrey Arshavin’s freak winner against Swansea earlier in the season is the Russian’s only goal in the Premier League this season in 16 appearances.
  • Michel Vorm has the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season with nine, only Manchester United have more clean sheets but are shared between David De Gea and Anders Lindegaard.
  • Even though Swansea have an impressive clean sheet record they are also the side who have failed to score in a game the most times, being shut out nine times.
  • Swansea have only failed to win twice in the seven games in which they have taken the lead, drawing one and losing the other.
  • Swansea have the joint worst away form in the league, only taking six points on the road, but have lost only once at home - to Manchester United - so will happy to welcome Arsenal to the Liberty Stadium.
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Players to watch

N. Dyer

Position: Midfielder

Games: 11

  • 3
  • 1
  • 0
With his pace on and off the ball the winger has caused problems for many a defence this season, none more so than Aston Villa, who were undone by Dyer in the 2-0 win at Villa Park.

His chance to shine may be greater as Arsenal are struggling to field a strong defence, with numerous players out with injury and travelling to the African Cup of Nations, so the skill and raw speed of the player may be a massive advantage for the Welsh side.

T. Henry

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
On his return to the Emirates the Frenchman managed to bag a goal in his first game back, netting the winner in the Gunners' 1-0 FA Cup victory over Leeds.

Henry may have lost a yard or two since his last spell at Arsenal but the player's class is not in doubt, his high profile return may take the spotlight off Robin van Persie as well, allowing the two to strike up a prolific partnership during the short loan spell.

Editor's Prediction

I feel a tight game is on the cards as Swansea were only seen off by a single goal at the Emirates earlier in the season, and have proved a stubborn side when playing at the Liberty Stadium. With the Attacking power Arsenal possess coupled with their makeshift defence I think a score draw is likely in this encounter.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Swansea City

Arsenal

Wins
1
1
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Swansea City AFC SWA
Swansea City AFC Swansea City
Draw
Arsenal FC ARS
Arsenal FC Arsenal
82%

Top 3 Predictions

Swansea City AFC SWA
0 - 3
Arsenal FC ARS
Swansea City AFC SWA
0 - 2
Arsenal FC ARS
Swansea City AFC SWA
1 - 3
Arsenal FC ARS

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