Welsh side Swansea City will be travelling to London to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the match week 8 of the Premier League on Saturday 15th October 2016. After the international break, Arsenal will be hoping to resume normal service in the domestic league where they have been on an excellent run of form winning their last 5 fixtures.
Swansea, on the other hand, have been in a bit of a mess losing 4 of their last 5 in the Premier League sitting in the 17th spot after the first 7 games. In the recent past, there have been occasions where the Swans conjured up some very surprising results against the Gunners and thus, despite the form and position of the two clubs in the league table, it is not going to be a fixture Arsene Wenger should be taking lightly at all.
Let’s look at 3 things the hosts need to be careful about when they face the Swans on Saturday.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s Set Piece Prowess
Sigurdsson has been a fantastic player for the Swans since signing for them in 2014 from Tottenham Hotspur. The Icelandic international is one of the best free kick takers in the Premier League and is a real threat in the set piece situations with his quality deliveries. Swansea do have players who provide the height in those situations and containing them in the corners and free kicks would be a challenge for Arsenal.
Midfield Runners During The Counter Attacks
It’s no secret that Swansea would be playing on the counter against Arsenal away from home trying to break swiftly soaking up the pressure for most parts. While the target man would be trying to hold possession upfront or work the channels with his diagonal runs, the thing to watch out for would be the movement provided by the Swansea midfielders like Sigurdsson being complemented by through balls from accurate passers like Jack Cork. The double pivot in the Arsenal midfield must be positioned well to nullify this threat.
Effect Of The New Manager
After a shocking start to the new season, Swansea sacked their manager Francesco Guidolin and appointed former United States of America manager Bob Bradley as his successor. We have seen numerous times in the past that a team gets a psychological boost when a change like this occurs and more often than not, the players rally together to churn out results which seem unexpected.
Against Arsenal, the players of Swansea would be a bit more eager to perform in a bid to impress their new gaffer and with the recent history on their side when the duo have faced each other, they would be feeling quite confident as well. The hosts thus need to make sure that they don’t allow the scope of any such upset on Saturday.