Writer: Danny Cosker
Date:Saturday September 10 2011
Swansea City face Arsenal in their fourth Premier League encounter having already amassed two points from their first three games.
Swansea City have looked solid at the Liberty Stadium so far, keeping two clean sheets in the process.
Arsenal have had a difficult start to the Premier League, with high profile departures in Samir Nasri and Cesc fabregas leaving for pastures new. The Gunners have taken just one point from their opening three games. Last time out at Old Trafford, Arsene Wenger's depleted squad left with their tails between their legs as Rooney and Co. demolished the North London club 8-2.
Both clubs are looking for their first win today to kick-start their campaigns in what promises to be a game dominated by possession football. The team that can provide the quality in the final third and take their chances, will ultimately prevail.
Both Swansea City and Arsenal took the opportunity to strengthen key area's on transfer deadline day. However, Swansea City are still waiting on international clearance on the signings of Darnel Situ and Rafik Halliche, so they will not feature at the Emirates. Federico Bessone, Swansea City's third deadline day signing, is in-line to make his debut in what is his second spell at the club.
Arsenal's new signings are all in-line to make their debut against Swansea City, as Arsene Wenger looks to include Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta and Andre Santos to the starting line-up.
Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshire (both ankle) and Sebastien Squillaci (calf) are absent, while Thomas Vermaelen (ankle) and Tomas Rosicky (knee) also miss out.
Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Mikel Arteta to make their debut, while Yossi Benayoun and Park Chu-Young are expected to be on the bench.
Emmanuel Frimpong is available again after suspension, but Alex Song and Gervinho are still unavailable due to suspension, with Carl Jenkinson also absent after being sent-off against Manchester United.
Robin Van Persie has the ability to convert chances from just about anywhere. If he turns up today, Swansea City may have a long afternoon.
Rafik Halliche and Darnel Situ are unavailable as they are still awaiting international clearance. Federico Bessone is likely to be on the bench for the Swans'.
Alan Tate (broken leg)is absent, Gary Monk (foot) and Craig Beattie (ankle) is unavailable for the match.
Nathan Dyer will provide Andre Santos' induction to the Premier League. Dyer has the pace and ability to make things happen, Swansea City will need to utilise that pace on the counter attack today if they are to get anything from this game.
Arsenal have met Swansea City on nine previous occasions, sporting five wins, one draw and three defeats - scoring twelve goals and conceding eleven.
The last meeting was at Highbury, January 1st 1983 which Arsenal won 2-1.
The last time Swansea City won away at Arsenal was on the 27th February 1982 with a 2-0 victory.
Young Stuart Attwell will be taking charge for this one. In 25 games last season, he issued 79 yellow cards and 2 red. The last Swansea City game he took charge of, was in 2007 when Swansea played Gillingham in League 1.
Both teams like to keep the ball as both sides are right at the top of the ball possesion table so far this season. The issue is, who can take their chances? A fully fit Arsenal squad at the Emirates can beat anyone in the world, however, Arsenal are far from fully fit and on the back of a humiliating defeat to Manchester United, thier performances raises more questions than answers. If the new signings settle right away and Arsenal can dictate the midfield, then it's hard to see Robin Van Persie missing several chances that will prevent a home victory. I do think Swansea will score their first goal today against a dis-jointed Arsenal defense but, ultimately, Arsenal will create more at home. 3-1, home win.
Saturday 17th September
Swansea City Vs West Bromwich Albion 3pm
Date:Saturday September 10 2011
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