Arsenal v Swansea City, Premier League: Preview, Probable Teams
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | December 1, 2012 8:40 PM EST
Arsenal welcome Swansea City to the Emirates after only managing a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park in their midweek fixture. The Swans, meanwhile, recorded a strong 3-1 home win over the season's surprise package West Brom, to extend their unbeaten run to six games.
The Gunners are seventh at the start of the weekend's fixtures, with 21 points from 14 games, while Michael Laudrup's Liberty Stadium club are just one point and one place behind.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 3pm GMT. Registered Arsenal.com members can follow the game live on Arsenal Player, via the club's official website. Catch highlights of the match on Match of the Day on BBC One and BBC One HD at 10.30pm GMT.
Arsene Wenger has two consecutive draws in the league, and the emphatic 5-2 win over north London rivals Tottenham is now a distant memory. The Gunners have won only one of the last five league games, with three draws and a defeat to rivals Manchester United the other results.
It won't help matters that a group of fans are planning a protest walk outside The Armoury before the Swansea game. A collection of supporters, under the Black Scarf AFC umbrella, are calling for changes in the way the club's administrative positions are structured and finances managed.
There is a midweek game coming up - a Champions League group stage match away to Greece to play Olympiakos. However, given the Gunners have already confirmed their place in the knock-out stages of the tournament, Wenger should be under no pressure to rest key players for this fixture; he needs a win here much more than in Greece.
Swansea will be buoyed by their midweek win over the Baggies. The club's top scorer, Spanish forward Michu, added to his tally and a growing reputation in England with the opener. Wayne Routledge scored a brace to take his season's league tally to four goals. Both players will be hoping to inflict similar damage on their hosts in this game.
The midweek win was the club's second in three games and the Swans continue to impress, playing delightful football and securing big results. Brendan Rodgers may have left for Anfield in the summer but former Barcelona star Michael Laudrup has picked up where the Northern Irishman left off. Incredibly, the Swans have lost just twice in the last 10 games in all competitions.
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): D D W W D
- Last Match: Everton 1 - 1 Arsenal
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W D W D D
- Last Match: Swansea 3 - 1 West Bromwich Albion
Arsenal are likely to be without French international defenders Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna, both of whom picked up injuries in the midweek game. However, there are ready replacements, with Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson fit and available. Belgian centre back Thomas Vermaelen and German international Per Mertesacker will resume their partnership in front of Wojciech Szczesny.
There are no further additions to the Gunners' injury list, with French midfielder Abou Diaby, Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi and Brazilian left back Andre Santos all definitely unavailable.
England international Theo Walcott faces a late fitness test, as does German Lukas Podolski, but both forwards are expected to be ready.
Probable Line-Up: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey; Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla; Giroud
Laudrup has no new injury worries and will probably start the same side that beat Steve Clarke's men in midweek. Striker Danny Graham may be available for this game, but Michu's form up front means Graham will start from the bench, if at all.
Neil Taylor, Kyle Bartley and Michel Vorm remain sidelined with long-term injuries.
Probable Line-Up: Tremmel; Rangel, Williams, Chico, Davies; Dyer, Britton, Ki, Hernandez; Routledge, Michu
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