After a harrowing and disappointing letdown to one of their most heated Premier League rivals, third-place Arsenal hope to rebound and build some momentum against 16th-place Swansea City when the two sides clash Wednesday afternoon at Emirates.
The Gunners coughed up two first-half goals to upstart forward Marcus Rashford on Sunday, and remained competitive until Ander Herrera struck in the 65th minute as Arsene Wenger’s side fell at Old Trafford, 3-2.
Arsenal still own a four-point buffer to fend off looming Manchester City, but in order to catch Tottenham and streaking Leicester City they may have to repeat their top-notch form in a 3-0 dismantling of the Swans at Liberty Stadium on Oct. 31.
That match saw Olivier Giroud, Joel Campbell and Laurent Koscielny each find the back of the net as Arsenal shook off poor first-half play and claimed their fifth straight Premier League victory. The win was even more stratifying considering the Gunners faced former goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who failed to contain the Arsenal attack.
Swansea's struggles ultimately resulted with Garry Monk's dismissal in December. Under new manager Francesco Guidolin, Swansea are still looking for a big boost. Swansea extended their winless streak to four matches after failing to maintain a one-goal advantage to Tottenham and fell 2-1 Sunday despite Fabianski’s best efforts.
The 30-year-old Pole tallied 12 saves against Spurs, and Swansea appeared poised to upend Tottenham on their own grounds after Italian forward Alberto Paloschi netted his first goal in a Swansea kit since coming over from Serie A’s Chievo Verona.
However, the Swans' backline and midfield did little to slow Tottenham’s relentless attack out of their comfort zone allowing 34 total shots behind a time of possession of 57 percent.
D: Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin
M: Coquelin, Ramsey
Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott
D: Taylor, Williams, Rangel, Fernandez
M: Sung-Yeung, Britton, Paloschi, Sigurdsson, Cork
Prediction: The pressure is on the Gunners to keep pace with the top contenders, so an early goal will be vital against a 4-3-3 Swansea side that will likely play defensive. Expect Arsenal to be on top of their game at home against Swansea, and for a stronger effort from players like Giroud, Coquelin and Ramsey.
Arsenal over Swansea City, 2-0