Arsenal vs. Swansea City: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
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Sure, Tottenham and Everton would need to lose to make it interesting, but that's not out of the question. Each face a difficult opponent with Everton taking on Manchester City and Spurs matched with Fulham.
Should either Arsenal or Swansea City take all the points from this game, with losses from the other two clubs, it could see the winner take fifth place over from Spurs.
With that in mind, all the expectations are for this match to be a hard-fought and entertaining throughout.
Where: Emirates Stadium, London, England
When: Saturday, December 1, 10:00 A.M. ET
Arsenal: Too many central players and not enough space in the center.
Theo Walcott's desire to play central striker is no secret to the soccer world. He's proclaimed it at any chance he has been given. So much is his desire that he's stalled contract extensions and might leave because of it.
Teammate Lukas Podolski has joined Walcott in voicing his displeasure with his position in the Arsenal formation. He prefers to play in the center, rather than the wing, It's understandable that each player would want to play a position more familiar to their strengths.
However, the problem is where do you put everyone?
Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski all want to play in the center, but, with the current setup, it's very unlikely. Unless, Arsene Wenger tries to play with Walcott and Podolski positioned directly behind Giroud, it's impossible to fit them together.
The problem is neither of those players is truly producing like a lone central striker. Is it because they haven't had the chance? You could make that case, but you could also make the case that their play hasn't warranted the chance as well.
So far, it hasn't caused any major problems, but it is something Arsenal needs to sort out soon.
Swansea City: The Swans can complete their growth from ugly ducklings
If you can forgive the the pun on that old fairy tale, the point to make is that Swansea have come a long way.
The Swans gained their promotion after winning the Football League Championship playoffs, with stellar peformance from Scott Sinclair, at the end of the 2010/11 season. Brendan Rogers, who lead the team to its promotion, then coached Swansea to a mid table finish last season before leaving to coach Liverpool.
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Swansea's merit was not Rogers' or Sinclair's alone, and they have shown that they can do just fine without two important figures at the club.
New coach Michael Laudrup has seen the emergence of a new star with the continued progress of Swansea. Michu has proved to be a massive bargain, signing for Swansea as he already has eight goals in 14 Premier League contests. His form has been instrumental in Swansea's push towards European competition.
Sure, with the quality at the top, that's an ambitious effort for a squad in its sophomore EPL season, but it starts with winning one over one of the league's big dogs. Should they find a way to beat Arsenal, it's all that much closer.
Both team's match up well together, and I expect the game to be a bit free-flowing with each team getting their fair share of chances. Despite their disinterest in it, Podolski and Walcott will do the necessary work on the wings and allow Giroud to net one for Arsenal. However, they won't be able to stop Michu's involvement in Swansea's attack.
Side note: It will be interesting to see how much impact, if any, Laurent Koscielny's injury has on Arsenal. After being taken off just minutes into the contest with Everton, it was revealed that Koscielny would be out until around Christmas (via dailymail). Arsenal's defense still has Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker, but they must be mistake free to keep Michu in check.
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