Sunday, 9 November 2014

Swansea vs Arsenal: Match Preview

Preview | Pre-match conference | Team news

Short post from me today.

We need to take this match very seriously. It'll be the last time in a long time that three points are guaranteed. In addition, Manchester City, West Ham and Liverpool slipped up. The growing sense of feeling is that we can finish second at most. We need to keep our heads down and win matches. I'm confident that we have the quality to overtake City. They seem as mentally distracted a team like ours.

Anyway, our fixtures after Swansea away read:

Manchester United (H)
Dortmund (H)
W.B.A (A)
Southampton (H)
Stoke (A)
Galatasaray (A)
Newcastle (H)
Liverpool (A)

All winnable matches but certainly a testing point of our ability. West Brom and Newcastle provide some breathing space and scope for rotation but we all know that Wenger won't look into alternation so there's no point debating it, really.

Onto the game - I'd hope we employ a conservative 4-2-3-1 instead of a 4-1-4-1. I'd hope we play Ramsey alongside Flamini and discourage him from bombing forward too much. I'd hope we get the burden off Santi, Alexis and Welbeck and bench at least a couple of them. Rosicky, Podolski and Joel Campbell are eagerly awaiting on the sidelines, but if Wenger makes them wait for too long, they may lose their eagerness. We could even give Walcott a go. Roy Hodgson has already included him for England - so it's best to give him some playing time before sending him on internationals. It reduces the chances for an injury.

But, yeah. This is Arsene Wenger. Even hoping for him to induce a bit of rotation or conservativeness is daft thinking. The man only changes decisions out of fear of the crowd turning on him. If the pressure on the manager leading up to Matchday is huge, then we might see 4-2-3-1 or Rosicky/Podolski given a go. Otherwise, forget it.

Koscielny's prolonged injury puts us on thin ice. The likes of Mertesacker and Monreal looked like they were aching for some time off, but they won't get it. Again, we can only hope they don't lose focus. Our defensive situation is farcical enough.

That's me done. Here's to three Arsenal points and Gibbs not pulling another hamstring. Later!

-Santi [Follow me on Twitter @ArsenalBlogz ]