Arsenal vs. Swansea City
English Premier League
Sunday, November 9, 2014 8AM PT/11AM ET/4PM BT
Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales
League Form: ARS unbeaten in 5, last loss to Chelsea | SWA One win in seven
US TV: NBCSN | Worldwide TV Listings: livesoccertv.com
As we all know far too well, there are many common narratives that run through sports - all sports, everywhere, not just soccer. Soccer seems to have more than its fair share, though, which I find both fascinating and infuriating. One narrative that gets a little bit of play every now and again is that of the "bogey team" - a team that, for whatever reason, seems to have the measure of what on paper should be a superior team.
I tend to disagree with that narrative just slightly, because it relies on the whole "X team haven't beaten Y team since 1997" line of reasoning, which is less than convincing. After all, teams change personnel every year, even bad teams, so it's not like the 2006 version of Team X is identical to the 2014 version - and the thought that a team just "has our number" is just pure lazy thinking.
For Arsenal, Swansea City is one that people like to think of as a "bogey team", because Swansea beat Arsenal in 2011 and again in 2012, but the facts don't bear that out - Arsenal's overall record against Swansea is quite good, with Arsenal gaining points from eight of 12 matches against the Swans, going back to the early 1980's.
The other problem with thinking Swansea are a potential banana skin is the fact that they're not a terrible team - they're currently sixth in the table, and if they win on Sunday will leapfrog Arsenal on points. So there's really nothing about this game that should scream EASY WIN to any Arsenal fan; Arsenal are certainly capable of beating the Swans, but it won't be a walk in the park.
As Travis mentioned yesterday, Mikel Arteta's definitely out for this one, but Jack Wilshere should be back. For Swansea, Jonjo Shelvey is out, serving the suspension earned when he picked up two yellow cards in Swansea's Everton draw last weekend, but familiar face Lukasz Fabianski, he of the five clean sheets in 10 matches, should be starting in goal. Wilfried Bony will be hoping that the Arsenal defense Anderlechts it up on Sunday.
Regardless of what happened Tuesday, Arsenal are on a decent run of form in the league, so hopefully League Arsenal shows up and leaves Anderlecht Arsenal at home.