Arsenal almost completed an amazing comeback against Bayern Munich to stay alive in the Champions League, but fell one goal short. While it's a disappointing result, now the Gunners will focus on getting back into the competition next season.
That journey continues with a trip to face Swansea City on Saturday. The Jacks currently sit in ninth place with an extremely long-shot chance of making a run toward a European spot, but did shock the Gunners with two late goals in the first Premier League meeting.
Here's all the key information for the weekend clash, followed by a match preview and a prediction as the Gunners and Jacks battle in Wales.
Where: Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales
When: Saturday, March 16, at 11 a.m. ET
Watch: Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go
Getting eliminated from a major event like the Champions League is rarely a positive experience. But Arsenal have plenty of reason to be optimistic after the strong showing at Allianz Arena, and need to carry that into the remaining portion of the EPL schedule.
These are the type of matches the Gunners must seize down the stretch. Tricky road tests, which would probably fall into the acceptable-draw category earlier in the campaign. But now, coming away with three points is essential.
The onus is on Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud. The Gunners are still prone to some mental mistakes at the back, and the more time they are able to spend controlling to pace in the opposing half, the less pressure is on the back line.
They face a tough task, however, as the Swansea defense has been playing well as of late. The club had recorded two straight clean sheets before a 2-1 road loss to West Brom last weekend. So Walcott and Co. will have to work for their chances.
The one player the Gunners must keep close tabs on is Michu. He scored twice in the dying minutes to stun Arsenal earlier in the campaign and remains Swansea's most dangerous attacking talent. He has 10 more league goals than anybody else on the roster.
Ultimately, this will likely be a tense match throughout for Arsenal supporters. The Jacks should be able to keep it close once again, but there's no reason the Gunners shouldn't be the more desperate team on the pitch.
That should translate to three points.
Prediction: Arsenal 2, Swansea 1
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