Venue and Timings
The match kicks off at Liberty Stadium on Sunday, January 6th, 2012 at 1330 hours GMT (1830 hours PST and 1700 hours IST).
Neil Taylor is currently the only player in the entire Swansea squad who is injured so Michael Laudrup will have a lot of options to choose from.
If he applies some changes, Ki Sung-Yeung is very likely to replace either Leon Britton or Jonathan De Guzman.
Danny Graham will be maintaining his position after he scored a late equaliser against Aston Villa while Swansea’s start man Michu will be in his positiong to support the attack.
Wojciech Szczesny will maintain his place as the goalkeeper as Mannone and Fabianski have been sidelined due to their injuries.
Thomas Vermaelen, if rested, would be replaced by Per Mertesacker.
Bacary Sagna had an unimpressive game against Southampton and he could be replaced by Carl Jenkisnon.
Gervnho and Giroud could be played, sending back Walcott to the wing.
Arsenal 0 – 2 Swansea
Swansea 3 – 2 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 – 0 Swansea
Michu (Swansea) : This deep-lying game maker has perhaps made a mark in the Premier league. In 11 appearances, Michu has scored 7 goals and is competing with big names such as Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Demba Ba and Luis Suarez. Michu likes to play shorts passes but provides indirect set-piece threats. Though his passing and crossing is weak, he has great finishing abilities.
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) : The 23-year old England attacking midfielder and center-forward has made quite a mark in the Premier League this season. He has appeared in 9 matches in which he has scored 8 goals and made 6 assists. His transition to the attack has proved benficial for Wenger considering his excellent finishing skills and his key passes. Walcott provides good counter attack threat. he likes to play as a dribbler and he enjoys making short passes.
My prediction: 1 – 1. Arsenal’s attacking form has been quite mentionable since they have put on Walcott upfront. However, Swansea has had a lot of luck against Arsenal, with Michu banging 2 goals against them the last time. As the match is at Liberty Stadium, there might be a lot of pressure on Arsenal’s players. Also the fans are now demanding for trophies so Arsenal would like to win this one, if not the Barclays title.
Written by Rida Mehtab (@RidaaMehtaab on Twitter)