Preview: Swansea v Arsenal

16th March 2013

The Swans will be looking to continue their fine home form on Saturday when they host Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium (3pm).
Michael Laudrup's side are chasing a fourth consecutive home win, and have lost just twice at the Liberty so far this season.
The Swans have also been finding the net on a regular basis, scoring eight times in their last three games on home soil.
On Saturday they face an Arsenal side that are chasing a place in the top four of the Premier League, following their Champions League exit to Bayern Munich last Wednesday.
The Gunners are currently fifth in the table and trail fourth-place Chelsea by five points going into the weekend's fixtures with 10 games to go.
Arsene Wenger has never missed out on a place in the top four since taking over at the north London club in 1996, and the club have had to endure yet another season without silverware.
The Swans, meanwhile, are looking to follow up their recent League Cup success with a strong finish in the league, and will be looking to do the double over Arsenal following their 2-0 win at the Emirates back in December.

Team news

Chico Flores and Kemy Agustien are definite absentees for the home side, while Leon Britton faces a late fitness test following a recent hip injury.
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is out with an ankle injury, while Bacary Sagna and Lukas Podolski are also missing.

What they said

Swans boss Michael Laudrup:"They (Arsenal) will be disappointed that they are out of the Champions League, but perhaps they expected that after the first leg at the Emirates.
"But they come out of the game better than when they went into it. They have won away against a very good side but they are still five points away from fourth place.
"They will try and maintain the confidence from Wednesday night, but Saturday is a very important game for them with only eight games left after this weekend."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: "We must win at all costs. It's a difficult place to go and we'll need to repeat the game we had against Bayern Munich.
"I believe we have the quality to be in the top four - it is about consistency now. The top priority is to be in the Champions League. It's our main focus."

Head to head

This is the fourth meeting between the two sides this season following two games in the FA Cup.
Swansea have won their last two league encounters with Arsenal, including a 2-0 win at the Emirates back in December.

Swansea stats

Michu has scored three of Swansea's four goals against Arsenal this season
The Swans are looking to win four Premier League home games in a row for the first time
Ashley Williams has made a league-high 40 blocks this season, only 26 fewer than Arsenal have in total (66 being a joint-low)

Arsenal stats

Arsenal have averaged 58.5% possession this season, higher than any other team (Swansea are sixth - 55.6%)
The Gunners (14) have picked up only one more point than QPR (13) in 2013, while Swansea (12) have one point fewer than the bottom of the league side
Six of the seven goals scored in games between Arsenal and Swansea this season have come in the closing 10 minutes

32Red odds: Swansea 23/10 Arsenal 23/18 Draw 27/11