Monk anticipating tough Arsenal test

8th May

Garry Monk is anticipating a tough but enjoyable test when his side travel to Arsenal on Monday night.

The Swans make the trip to the Emirates Stadium aiming for their third straight win and fifth league double of the season, to accompany home and away victories over Burnley, Hull City, Aston Villa and Manchester United in 2014-15.

Monk's men came from behind to beat the Gunners 2-1 in the reverse fixture this season, but Arsene Wenger's side are currently in a rich vein of form, having not tasted defeat since their 2-1 loss to rivals Tottenham Hotspur in February.

On the back of their convincing 3-1 over Hull City last Monday, Arsenal are aiming to finish as runners-up in the Premier League to champions Chelsea and currently sit third in the top-flight, behind Manchester City but level on 70 points and with a game in hand.

The Swans have enjoyed a fairly impressive track record at the Emirates in recent years, but Monk is expecting another difficult encounter on Monday night.

"We've done well in the past there," acknowledged the Swans boss. "We drew 2-2 last season and we beat them there when Michu scored twice (in 2012).

"Hopefully we can enjoy the same feelings there this time, but it's a tough arena to play.

"They have a really talented squad. The depth of quality they have, especially in attacking areas is fantastic.

"I love the way they play. They're very fluent and creative and a very strong outfit. They've always been a top team, and I think they will be a real force in the next couple of seasons with the talent they have.

"They are finishing the season strong, and if they started the season as well as they are finishing, they would probably be a little closer to Chelsea.

"They are one of the power houses of the league, so it wil be a tough test but we will enjoy it."

Meanwhile, Monk confirmed that Bafe Gomis could make a return to action against Arsenal following a three-week absence through injury, while he had disappointing news on Nelson Oliveira.

"Nelson is unlikely to be fit for any of the remaining games," said Monk. "It's disappointing for us and for him because he's done well in recent weeks.

"Bafe returns, which is a big boost for everyone. He was in fanatstic form in the lead up to that injury. He looks fit and sharp and his return will give us a boost."