The Match: Arsenal vs. Swansea, Emirates Stadium
TV: Premier League Extra Time
Regular Old British Standard Time: 7:45 pm
Fancy-Ass American Daylight Saving Time: 3:45 pm ET / 2:45 pm CT / 1:45 pm MT / 12:45 pm PT
Weather: Mid-40s, clear, long-sleeve jersey weather (sorry, Flamini)
If this game gets pear-shaped: There's always the Battle of Manchester on NBCSN
Rundown: Between last Saturday's match against Chelsea (oh, misplaced optimism!) and this coming Saturday's match against the Citizens (hmmmm, can't seem to find my optimism anywhere) comes this Tuesday night match against Swansea. Swansea was having a pretty terrific year last year -- won the League Cup, Michu emerged as a Premier League star in the making, and manager Michael Laudrup was touted as a genius and a possible manager-in-waiting-candidate for One Guess Which Team.
What a difference a season makes. This year, Swansea's on the lip of the drop zone as we approach April, Michu's had an injury-plagued season, and Laudrup was sacked last month.
Lo and behold, though, Michu's back in the starting lineup for this game, joining Sole Bright Spot Wilfried Bony (10 goals in 26 games, rumored to be on Arsenal and Everton's transfer radars for summer) in the Swans' attack.
Laurent Koscielny's out with a calf injury and is being replaced by Thomas Vermaelen in the back four, with Hector Bellerin on the bench in case anyone else on defense gets injured. The dreaded Arteta-Flamini double pivot gets rolled out again, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain finds himself in the starting lineup despite his red card (well, Kieran Gibbs' red card) against Chelsea three days ago, joining Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla behind a really-needing-to-score-any-time-now Olivier Giroud.
Last time they met: Arsenal beat Swansea 2-0 back in September, with goals coming from Serge Gnabry and (snif, sob) Aaron Ramsey, whose score in Liberty Stadium put him on an eight-goals-in-eight-games tear. Remember the good times when we were projecting a healthy Ramsey as EPL Player of the Year? Yeah, me too.
Los Lineups del Twitter:
#Arsenal team to play Swansea: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Flamini, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Cazorla, Giroud— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 25, 2014
Swansea City FC (@SwansOfficial) March 25, 2014