Arsenal’s bounced back from their defeat to Watford a fortnight ago in perfect fashion with a five star performance over hapless Everton. It was a win that saw them move to fifth in the table and they will look to enter the top four if only a few hours when they play host to Swansea this afternoon.
The Gunners advanced into the Quarter Finals of the Carabao Cup in midweek thanks to a narrow win over Norwich City but it was their win last Sunday on Merseyside which would have got fans purring after Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexander Lacazette all started together for the first time this season.
It may well only be until January after the likely departures of the first two players but if that is a sign of things to come for the next couple of months then Arsenal fans will definitely have cause for optimism. A string of good performances may well be enough to see both Sanchez and Ozil stay at least until the end of the season.
Ultimately Arsenal need to be in and around the title race come January if that is to happen and the best way for that to happen is to chalk up wins against the likes of Swansea. It must be said however that games like this at The Emirates are their bread and butter.
The last time these two sides met here in North London it was a 2-1 win for the home side who saw Granit Xhaka sent off for hacking down Mo Barrow. The game may well be more remembered for the fact that is was the much maligned Bob Bradley’s first game in charge in what was a a very short spell in South Wales.
The next incumbent to the Liberty Stadium hotseat was Paul Clement and he managed to steer what seemed like a very rudderless ship to the smoother waters which were Premier League survival, he has the same task to do again this season but already a lack of goals could be the hole which is hard to plug.
The Swans have only scored six goals this season of which Tammy Abraham has scored four, this already points to an over reliance on the England Under 21 international and one that ultimately could be the clubs downfall come the end of the campaign.
Last week they were beaten by a Leicester side who were on the upward swing of the new caretaker manager bounce as Michael Appleton masterminded a very welcome 2-1 win for the Foxes. There was a neat symmetry to this game as it was Claudio Ranieri’s final game in charge of Leicester last season.
But Paul Clement needs to find players who are also willing to contribute to the side and one of those has to be Renato Sanches. He has played 300 Premier League minutes without a positive contribution (goal or assist) and his burgeoning loan spell with Swansea is yet to pull up any trees.
The same can also be said for the signing of Wilifried Bony who himself is yet to score after returning to the club at the end of August. For a team light on attacking options they need the few they have to go above and beyond the call of duty.
There should be no such problems for Arsenal especially as they will be full of momentum after two wins in the space of last week. Truth be told I cannot see anything other than a fifth straight home win for Arsene Wenger’s men this afternoon.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) October 27, 2017