Preview: Swans v Arsenal

6th January 2013

The Swans begin this season's FA Cup adventure on Sunday when they welcome Arsenal to the Liberty Stadium (1.30pm).
Michael Laudrup's side face the Gunners at the beginning of what is an iconic week for the club, ahead of Wednesday's trip to Chelsea in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final.
Following that trip to Stamford Bridge, the Swans face Everton at Goodison Park next weekend in another testing Premier League assignment.
But for now, the focus is on Sunday's clash against Arsenal - the second time that the two sides have met in a matter of weeks.
The Swans won 2-0 at the Emirates in early December, with Laudrup's side winning a host of plaudits for their display.
But since then the Gunners have gone on a five-game unbeaten run in the league, including a 7-3 win over Newcastle last week.
Arsenal have a good record in the FA Cup, having won it 10 times. Coincidentally, the last time they lifted the trophy - in 2005 - was the club's last piece of silverware under Wenger.
The Swans have no fresh injury concerns, but Michael Laudrup may well rotate his squad with Wednesday's trip to Chelsea in the back of his mind.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is likely to field a full-strength side, with Theo Walcott hoping to continue his good recent form in the central striker position.

What they said
Swans boss Michael Laudrup: "We are going into a very interesting week. We play three games in six days, in three different competitions.
"But we must take one game at a time, starting with Arsenal on Sunday.
"It will be a tough game, but we are at home which is very important. We know what to expect from them having played a few weeks ago, but I expect them to play a strong team."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: "The FA Cup is something special because it is exciting, it is watched all over the world.
"It has a special history in England and I always respected that.
"I am always sad when we don't win it or when we go out. We will put our maximum effort in on Sunday to win the game."


Head to head
Swansea and Arsenal have played each other 12 times. Arsenal have won six, Swansea have won five, and there has been one draw.
The Gunners beat Swansea in September 2011 but have since suffered consecutive defeats, including a 3-2 reverse at the Liberty last January.

Match stats
This will be the fourth FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Swansea won the first in 1926, but Arsenal have been victorious in the subsequent two fixtures

Arsenal's last third round FA Cup defeat came against Sheffield United in 1996

Swansea have won just four of their last 19 FA Cup games against teams in the same division, including three defeats in the past three years

32Red odds: Swans 9/4 Arsenal 13/11 Draw 28/11