Arsenal vs. Swansea: Match Preview.



Although the title race is done and dusted, there is still plenty at stake for Arsenal who will hope to continue their fine form and finish the season in 2nd place. Tonight they host a Swansea side that have had an excellent season and already topped their highest ever points total.

Arsenal sit in 3rd place and 3 points adrift Man City, but crucially the Gunners have 2 games in hand and will therefore fancy their chances of leapfrogging City before the curtain closes on the 2014/15 season. Should Wenger steer them to a 2nd place finish, it will be for the first time since the 2004/2005 season and will prove the season to be a success despite crashing out earlier than expected in the Champions League.

The Swans meanwhile sit comfortably in 8th place having played 1 game less than those around them. They are 4 points adrift a floundering Southampton team and 3 points ahead of Stoke, but for Monks men their season will be regarded a success regardless of whether they move up or down the table. Europa League could be on the cards if they manage to climb ahead of Southampton, but they will also need their hosts to see off Aston Villa in the F.A Cup final for this to happen.

This means that you can fully expect Swansea to try and get something from the match, as a win would also see them complete the double over the North London side like they have done with Man United this season. In a rainy fixture back in November, Swansea came from behind with 2 late goals to claim a huge 3 points over Arsenal and this will give Monks side confidence going into the game.

Arsene Wenger’s side are the team to beat in 2015 though, having not lost a league match since their 2-1 defeat to rivals Spurs back in February. They convincingly dispatched a relegation battling Hull side at last weekend, seeing them win 3-1 with 2 goals from Alexis Sanchez and 1 from Aaron Ramsey, who also pickled up a leg injury and is unlikely to feature tonight.

Swansea have been in good forms themselves and are also coming off the back of a positive result. Late goals from Jefferson Montero and Ki Sung-yueng saw them beat Stoke 2-0, but they know that they will be in for a bigger challenge this evening and they will feel that they will have to score if they are to get anything from the match due to Arsenal’s free flowing football and attacking prowess.

Both teams play an attractive style of football and have enjoyed successful seasons thus far, but it is not quite over for either team and they will be hoping to pick up points in tonight’s fixture at the Emirates.

Team News:

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is unlikely to feature after picking up a leg injury in their victory over Hull. Danny Welbeck is also sidelined with a knee injury, but the forward should be fit to face his former team next week. Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Debuchy and Diaby remain out.

Bafetimbi Gomis is set to return after recovering from a hamstring injury with Nelson Oliveira unlikely to feature again this season. Jordi Amat is also out for the rest of the season with a broken metatarsal, and he joins Kyle Naughton, Tom Carrol and Wayne Routledge on the sidelines. This has led Swansea to recall full-backs Jazz Richards and Dwight Tiendalli who are available.

Jonny Hughes


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