11th May, 2015; 20-00 GMT
Emirates Stadium, London
Arsenal play hosts to Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League game on Monday.
While whatever slim hopes they had of winning the league is gone now with Chelsea sealing the title, Arsenal still have a lot to play for in the Premier League. They are tied on points with Manchester City with a game in hand, and a fight on their hands for the runners up spot. All they would have to do is win the rest of their games and they will finish second, and adding that to another FA Cup final appearance would definitely count as progress for the fans and the club alike.
For Swansea City, there is still a small chance that they can end up playing in Europe next season, if they can win the rest of their games and both Tottenham and Southampton continue dropping points. With both teams losing over the weekend to their respective opponents, it represents a chance for Swansea to make up on the points difference, which is currently 5 points to Spurs. But taking points off a rampant Arsenal at home would be a tough ask.
Team News and Tactics
Arsenal saw the return of Jack Wilshere in their last game, but Arsene Wenger wouldna t want to tinker with a winning side this late in the season, especially with 2nd place still not yet sealed. However, he may be forced to do just that, with Aaron Ramsey a doubt for the game, following an ankle knock. While it would be tempting to play Jack Wilshere in the no. 1o role and push Ozil wide, it would disturb the excellent balance Arsenal has found this year, and so it would most likely be Walcott who would replace Ramsey.
Walcott seems to have gone down the pecking order and would not have started this game too if it werena t for the injuries. Some fans online suggested that Wilshere should be played wide like Ramsey, but that would surely be a disaster, especially at this stage of the season. The rest of the squad pretty much picks itself, with no surprises in midfield or in defence.
Expected Line up: Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal;Cazorla, Coquelin; Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott; Giroud.
Lukas Fabianski will make a return to the Emirates Stadium, but there will be no boos for him after he was their FA Cup hero last season, and could well expect a few cheers when his name is announced. However, manager Gary Monk has a few injuries that he has to deal with, and would want to put out a team with the expectation of getting all 3 points, continuing the good work that he had done this season.
Swansea will be without Tom Carroll, Kyle Naughton, Wayne Routledge and Jordi Amat, who are all out injured. Both Gomis and Oliveira are doubtful too. The injuries mean that Monk may include Ki Sung-Yueng in the starting lineup in order to make the midfield more compact.
Expected Line up: Fabianski; Taylor, Willams, Fernandez, Rangel; Shelvi, Cork, Sung-Yueng; Montero, Emnes, Sigurdsson.
- Of their last 10 Premier League games, Arsenal have won 9 and drawn 1.
- Of the last 7 home games, Arsenal have managed to keep a clean sheet in 5 matches.
- Swansea City have lost only 1 game of their last 6 in the Premier League.
Both teams have much at stake and so will be looking for the win, making this a very interesting game for the neutrals. However, the form of Arsenal, especially at home, will see them trump the swans to keep their hands on the runners up spot on the table.
Predicted Score: Arsenal 3-1 Swansea City