Thierry Henry’s first league game since his return to Arsenal is a trip to one of the most difficult Premier League grounds against Swansea City.
The Frenchman made his emphatic return on loan from MLS side New York Red Bulls with the winning goal in a 1-0 FA Cup win against Leeds. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is not expected to start the 34 year old against Swansea, but could surprise the critics after Henry’s good performance at the Emirates Stadium on Monday. Arsenal’s last league game was a 2-1 loss to Fulham at Craven Cottage and Wenger was furious that his side threw away the victory in the closing moments. Defender Johan Djourou should be available again following suspension, which will help the Gunners’ defensive crisis. Young French midfielder Francis Coquelin tore a hamstring against Leeds and will not play a part at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea have only been beaten once at home this season and that came in a tight 1-0 loss to reigning Premier League champions Manchester United. The Swans impressed Arsenal fans when they travelled to the Emirates Stadium earlier in the season and have kept their passing game solid all season. Brendan Rodgers’ side picked up a huge away win against Aston Villa in their last league outing and will be confident of another win at home against the Gunners. Rodgers has a full squad to choose from and will recall Michel Vorm, Joe Allen and Scott Sinclair following their rest in the FA Cup game against Barnsley. Swansea have signed Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson on a six month loan from German side Hoffenheim and he is expected to make his league debut.
Arsenal and Swansea have been compared for their passing performances all season and at the Liberty Stadium, the Swans always have much more of the ball. It will be a test for the Gunners as to whether they can cope with someone playing their own style of football, but Wenger’s men need victory to keep themselves on track with the Champions League hopefuls around them. Swansea are full of confidence and could edge out a win in the teatime kick off at the Liberty Stadium.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Swansea