The Swans might be at the bottom of the table, but there are reasons to be worried about this game. 1) Swansea is only three points away from escaping the relegation zone, and fighting for their lives to get out; 2) new manager, Carlos Carvalhal, has seven points in his first four games (Swansea only has 20 points total); and 3) by now I’m sure you’ve heard, Swansea upset Liverpool last week in convincing fashion.
Swansea is in good form. And if recent history means anything, this is the kind of game where Arsenal tends to struggle.
Another upset? Nah. Right? Probably not.
Addition by Subtraction
Luckily Arsene Wenger’s side is also in good form, bulldozing Crystal Palace in the League and Chelsea in the EFL Cup, all without a certain you-know-who. Yes, in the absence of he-who-shall-not-be-named, we’ve somehow added, “players fighting every minute for the logo and the fans.”
The arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan (and hopefully, soon, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang) should not only boost morale but also improve the actual quality of football on the pitch—if not on Tuesday, then at least in the coming weeks.
It’s hard to say exactly how Wenger will incorporate Mkhitaryan into the current Arsenal team, I expect him to make an immediate impact in his debut. Look for him to give the fans something more than just a new face to be excited about.
Danny Welbeck is still out with muscle problems, but Olivier Giroud could be available for selection, though he’s probably not 100%, so I wouldn’t expect much from him even if he gets in the game.
Mohamed Elneny has been on a hot streak recently and could play another important role this week.
The Swans appear to be near full strength. Although Renato Sanches seems unlikely to play after injuring his hamstring (again) in the FA Cup, Angel Rangel, Tammy Abraham, Mike van der Hoorn all seem to have overcome their respective injuries and should be ready to play.
Yes, this game feels like an upset, and Arsenal has been known to overlook smaller clubs with motivation and momentum. Still, without any FA Cup action for the Gunners last weekend, the squad should be well-rested and prepared to play. This should be Arsenal’s fourth win in a row against the Swans.
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Swansea City
WHERE: Liberty Stadium, Swansea
WHEN: Tuesday, January 30th 11:45 PT | 2:45 ET | 7:45 BST
US TV: No TV, streaming on NBC Sports Gold
OUTSIDE THE US: Check out livesoccer.tv for all of your streaming information.
As always, and in light of the fact that this is on NBC Sports Gold, please do not discuss or share links to illegal streams here.