Preview: Arsenal v Swansea

Arsenal will be aiming to bridge the gap at the top of the table when they face a struggling Swansea side at the Emirates on Saturday.

Premier League
15 October 2016
Kick-off: 22:00 HKT
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Referee: J. Moss
Assistants: H Lennard, M Perry
Fourth official: N Swarbrick

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM       MATCHES  WIN  DRAW  LOSS
Arsenal    16       7    2     7
Swansea    16       7    2     7

Previous encounter:

Arsenal 1-2 Swansea 02/03/16 (Premier League)

Arsenal goalscorer: J. Campbell (15′)

Swansea goalscorers: W. Routledge (32′), A. Williams (74′)

Players to watch:

? @hectorbellerin #Arsenal #training #Hector #COYG

A video posted by Arsenal Official (@arsenal) on

Theo Walcott will be a key figure against the Swans and will look to get in and behind the defence of Bob Bradley’s high pressing defensive line.

When Walcott is fully fit, the Gunners excel and it’s no surprise that they’ve looked excellent as he scored four goals in his last four games.

Midfielder Leroy Fer will be the key man to look out for when the Swans travel to London. The Netherlands international has been in scintillating form for the Premier League strugglers this season with four goals in seven games.

His physicality and stamina as a box-to-box midfielder gives Bradley a solid midfielder to mould his side around, but his biggest strength will be his height against the Gunners.

A physically imposing figure in the middle of the park at 1.88m tall, Fer will look to dominate Santi Carzola and co, while also offering a viable option at set-pieces.

Team form and manager quotes:

The Gunners come into the fixture with five wins out of five in all competitions and with no new injury concerns after the international break – they will be confident of getting a result.

Manager Arsene Wenger feels the arrival of Bob Bradley will be a positive influence on the Premier League due to his experience in various different countries.

“Bob Bradley has a lot of experience. He’s not a beginner, he has traveled a lot and has accumulated experience in the United States,” he said in the pre-match press conference.

“He has been in Egypt, France recently and is now in England, which is certainly a fantastic opportunity for him.

“It’s also good for the Premier League – to have an American here will create even more interest for the Premier League in the United States. He is equipped to deal with what is asked of him.”

Bradley, who is set for his Premier League debut as the Swans boss, feels his arrival could spark an upturn in fortunes for the Welsh outfit, who are winless in their last six outings.

“Whenever there’s a change, at any club, it’s a fresh start for everybody,” Bradley said.

“You can see that on certain faces, that’s clear. Even at a time in a season when it’s been difficult, when there’s been managerial change, you see enthusiasm and a certain amount of excitement.

“That doesn’t automatically mean because you’ve changed some things everything’s going to come together right away. But it’s a start.”

Team news:

Arsenal pair Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey will not be involved as they look to regain match fitness following respective toe and hamstring injuries.

Francis Coquelin is back after missing the last two games with a knee problem, but Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck remain long-term absentees.

Swansea striker Fernando Llorente, who sat out the defeat by Liverpool with rib and knee injuries, has not trained fully this week and is set to miss out again, while Nathan Dyer is still out with a foot problem.

Jefferson Montero is sidelined by a calf problem but Federico Fernandez has recovered from a groin injury.

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