15:00 GMT 14 January 2017
Paul Clement makes his home bow as Swansea manager this weekend when Arsenal arrive at the Liberty Stadium in a vital Premier League clash for both sides.
Appointed a couple of weeks ago, the former Derby County manager oversaw a confidence-boosting 2 – 1 win at Selhurst Park in the Swans last league match. That win dragged Crystal Palace into the relegation battle and gave the Welsh club hope of clawing their way to safety.
Those points may be the last Swansea accrue in the next six games; they face four of the top five, as well as defending champions Leicester City. It’s as tough a run of fixtures as could be imagined.
Goals are the Swans problem; they’ve managed just four in the last six games while leaking sixteen in the same timeframe. Little wonder Bob Bradley was relieved of his duties.
Arsenal are bouncing back from the defeats at Everton and Manchester City. Swansea will take hope from the 3 – 0 lead Bournemouth took against the Gunners but will need to be wary of the three Arsenal scored without reply in the last twenty minutes of that match, as well as the two they scored to overcome Preston in last weekend’s FA Cup tie.
Olivier Giroud is on fire in front of goal at the moment with four in his last four. Away from the Emirates, he’s netting every 44 minutes and an assist every game. Alexis Sanchez is averaging a goal a game on the road; Arsenal have the attacking potency, the question is whether the defence will hold firm.
German international Shkodran Mustafi has recovered from his hamstring injury which heralds a return to the pivotal partnership with Laurent Koscielny.
Until their pre-Christmas back-to-back defeats, the Gunners were looking stronger defensively compared to previous years. They need to regain that composure, and this is the match to do it in.
Clement’s spell in charge at Derby County proved him a capable manager, and with Carlo Ancelotti’s blessing, he took over at Swansea. His arrival has given them a boost already and with Arsenal the most vulnerable of the big clubs, this might be the match for them to spring a surprise.
Arsenal have won 3, drawn 2 and lost just one of their last six visits to the Liberty Stadium.
Head to head matches: Swansea City - Arsenal FC
|15.10.2016||Prem||Arsenal FC||Swansea City||3:2|
|02.03.2016||Prem||Arsenal FC||Swansea City||1:2|
|31.10.2015||Prem||Swansea City||Arsenal FC||0:3|
Latest matches: Swansea City
|07.01.2017||FA C||Hull City||Swansea City||2:0||L|
|03.01.2017||Prem||Crystal Palace||Swansea City||1:2||W|
|31.12.2016||Prem||Swansea City||Bournemouth AFC||0:3||L|
|26.12.2016||Prem||Swansea City||West Ham United||1:4||L|
|17.12.2016||Prem||Middlesbrough FC||Swansea City||3:0||L|
Latest matches: Arsenal FC
|07.01.2017||FA C||Preston North End||Arsenal FC||1:2||W|
|03.01.2017||Prem||Bournemouth AFC||Arsenal FC||3:3||D|
|01.01.2017||Prem||Arsenal FC||Crystal Palace||2:0||W|
|26.12.2016||Prem||Arsenal FC||West Bromwich Albion||1:0||W|
|18.12.2016||Prem||Manchester City||Arsenal FC||2:1||L|
The Gunners have scored an average of 2 goals per game in their last six trips to Swansea. Arsenal have taken 1 point from the last nine on their travels; Swansea have taken three from the last nine at home.
14 January 2017 - 15:00 GMT
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