Preview: Swansea up against ‘unpredictable’ Arsenal

Bottom club Swansea City will have the opportunity to continue to rejuvenate their fortunes when they face unpredictable Arsenal in Tuesday’s Premier League clash in Wales.

Premier League
30 January 2018
Game week: 25
Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Venue: Liberty Stadium

Referee: L. Mason
Assistants: H. Lennard, S. Burt
Fourth official: R. East

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Swansea 19 7 2 10
Arsenal 19 10 2 7

Previous encounter:

Premier League

Arsenal 2-1 Swansea 28/10/17

Arsenal scorers: S. Kolašinac (51′), A. Ramsey (58′)
Swansea scorer: S. Clucas (22′)

Players to watch:

The 20-year-old Tammy Abraham has been one of the very few positives for the Swans in what has been a season of struggle so far. While the Chelsea loanee has managed just five strikes in 24 appearances in all competitions, he still does seem to offer the biggest threat in attack. With Arsenal’s defence sometimes fallible on the road, he may fancy his chances on Tuesday at the Liberty Stadium.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to make his debut for the Gunners after his high profile move from Manchester United. With general sentiment seemingly being that the Red Devils got the better of the bargain in the exchange deal for Alexis Sanchez, the Armenia forward will no doubt want to show what he is all about on the night.

Team form and manager quotes:

For City, manager Carlos Carvalhal believes his side can avoid relegation even if no new players are brought in before the January transfer window slams shut. He said: “We need players to try and improve the team. It is not the case that I don’t think we need players or want players.

“I want to make this very clear as they are very different things. I want players, but if I don’t get players I still believe we will stay up. It will be harder [without new signings] but let’s see. We have not brought in any players but we have lost just once in seven games and against good teams.”

For the visitors, boss Arsene Wenger says his side have learnt from Swansea’s recent win over Liverpool, saying: “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 an absolute total offensive performance.”

Team news:

Playmaker Renato Sanches is unlikely to feature due to a hamstring injury, while Lukasz Fabianski, Sam Clucas and Jordan Ayew are likely to return to the line-up after being rested against Notts County in the FA Cup.

Mkhitaryan seems likely to start after his move from United last week while Olivier Giroud is fit after overcoming a hamstring strain. Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck and Santi Cazorla remain out of action.

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