Pre-Match Report

Arsenal v Swansea City: The Brief

His name has been on everyone’s lips this week but don’t expect Eddie Nketiah to dislodge the likes of Alexis, Mesut Ozil or Alex Lacazette just yet.

 
The teenager’s time will surely come in the Premier League but, for now, Arsene Wenger will revert back to at least the bulk of the side that played so fluently at Everton in our last Premier League game.
 
“I believe that, at the moment, we’ll leave what’s going well in both sides,” the boss told Arsenal.com. “What is great is how quickly you can make an impact, like Eddie did.
 
“My job is not to rush them too much, but to continue their development. I believe that Eddie has a good chance of making a career with us and that’s what I feel responsible for. Maybe not on such a small timescale!”
 
You’re in the right place for a comprehensive pre-match briefing as we prepare for the visit of Swansea City. There’s team news, classic goals, an exclusive chat with the boss, match facts and a chance to have your say.

Arsene Wenger on Mesut Ozil

‘WE HAVE VARIETY UP FRONT’

Alexis, Mesut Ozil and Alex Lacazette are likely to be our front three on Saturday but Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi are fighting for a place, while Danny Welbeck is close to a return. Throw in young prospects like Eddie Nketiah and Chuba Akpom and the boss is spoiled for choice right now.
 
“We have many opportunities on the offensive front,” he said. “We have variety in midfield, creative midfield, and up front as well.
 
“What is at stake for us is that we have used our flops [mistakes] already at the start of the season, and we’ve had a strong run. It is important that we continue that. We responded well at Everton and it’s important that we focus on repeating that quality that we showed at Everton to prepare ourselves for a tough game. Every game is massively difficult.” 


TEAM NEWS:

ARSENAL: Mustafi (thigh), Welbeck (hamstring), Chambers (hip), Ospina (groin), Cazorla (plantaris)
 
SWANSEA: Olsson (hamstring - test), Sanches (thigh), Bony (hamstring), Bartley (knee)


THE OPPOSITION:

Former Gunner Adrian Clarke on Swansea...

"They’re going to be in for a long season. I see them being in the bottom half for sure this year. I just don’t know if they’ve got enough depth or ability to be honest. I like Clement, I think he’s a smart manager. He’s got a lot of good players but not that many game changers.

"Statistically, if you look at the division, they’ve had the fewest number of shots per game in the league, and the fewest number of shots on target too. They’re on averaging two shots on target per game, which is pitiful really.

"Creatively, they’re struggling and defensively they’ve been a touch open too. They’ve got the third worst record when it comes to conceding shots. Their best player, arguably, has been Fabianski."

THE FINAL WORD… ON CITY’S FLYING START

“At the moment, Manchester City look like they are galloping in front of everybody,” said Wenger. “They haven’t been stopped yet. Of course you start to see the first trends after 10 or 12 games. It’s an important moment of the season now and it is vital that we get into a run now that is very positive.

“All the rest [of the teams] are compact, so the target for every team is basically the same. We have to try to stop City first, then of course make yourself positive results. The run creates the confidence and the confidence creates the run. I think City are an offensive force who can score many goals. That certainly creates positivity in the team.”

Matchday Show: Swansea City (h)

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