SWANSEA VS ARSENAL: Five Players that can make a difference today….

The Gunners will be travelling to South Wales to lock horns with the relegation threatened Swansea City side who had already fired two managers notably Bob Bradley in just few games in charge in an attempt to crawl out of the danger zone following a run of poor performances in the Premier League this season.

The visitors also are not having the best of time as they picked up 7 points out of a possible 12, dropping 5 points all during the Christmas period as the London side found themselves out of the top four (fifth position on the league log) following a 3-3 comeback draw with Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth side at home.

The Welsh side are not having the best of time and will certainly give their best against Arsenal to salvage their current (relegation) situation as the visitors (Arsenal) are also missing some key legs in the treatment room following series of injury woes at the club. Despite this it promises to be an action parked game on the field of play when both sides take to the pitch.

We take a look at players capable of pulling the strings on the field of play come kick-off.

ALEXIS SANCHEZ

The diminutive talismanic forward returns to the side following his absence in the Preston North End fixture that ended 2-1 in favour of the Gunners in a highly contested game.

The Chile forward is set to bring his side quality in the final third with his doggedness and work rate in the course of the match. Alexi’s contribution is going to be key if the Arsenal side are to escape a scar from the Swansea City trip as the Welsh side are desperately in need of the points to climb up the table thus stopping Arsenal from picking maximum 3 points from the game.

Alexis’s ability and contribution offers hope and guile going forward and is one man to count on for Arsene Wenger’men who have suffered a lot of injuries recently.

GYLFI SIGURDSSON

The talented midfield player will be a task for Arsenal to deal with in transition. The player brings direction to the Swansea side, offering them light going forward with some decent attacking incision and forays into the opponent half.

The ability of the playmaker in dead ball situation makes him a top candidate for the man-of-the-match award in the game. His qualities is some of what the host (Swansea) will be looking to maximize when the Londoners (Arsenal) comes across the Welsh border.

The attacking midfielder can drive his team to victory possibly with a one moment of magic as his free-kick ability is very obvious (top notch) for all to see in the Premier League and Arsenal must be very keen on shutting him out in the context.

OLIVIER GIROUD

The French forward had been under certain level of criticism as regards to his quality and contribution to the Arsenal set-up this season following Alexis’s central role (center forward position) in the team which have yielded more dividend than liability for Arsenal this term.

The forward had however turned the screw with fine performances thus silencing his major critics with a clear evidence of what he can do in recent games as Arsenal benefitted from his match winning performance in recent games especially against Preston North End where there was no Sanchez to improvise.

He had rescued Arsenal with a 1-0 win over West Brom in just his first start of the season, a confirmation of his value and relevance for Arsenal.

He popped up with the equalizer to complete the comeback against AFC Bournemouth and got a goal against Crystal Palace in the 2-0 win which generated comparison with Henrikh Mkhitaryan scorpion kick against Sunderland at Old Trafford.

JEFFERSON MONTERO

The talented winger will be deployed against Arsenal with a deliberate attempt to stifle out the points from Arsenal. This is surely coming at the wrong time when Arsenal have about seven players injured even with the return of long injury lay off Danny Welbeck.

Arsenal will be without their priced assets in Hector Bellerin in the game and some faithfuls would hope that his absence against Swansea do not course the team from winning the game. The winger was instrumental in Swansea City 2-1 win over Arsenal as the Welsh side came from a goal down (0-1)to shock Arsenal with a win under (then Manager) Gary Monk.

Arsenal will have their hands full as the winger possess an electric threat on the wings going into the fixture.

LAURENT KOSCIELNY

The French center back and Arsenal skipper will be making a massive return to the side and with Shkodran Mustafi back it will be good to see how their combo at the back could make up for the loss of (Hector) Bellerin at right back.

The skipper is important as always with his assures defensive display at the heart of the defence thanks to good partnership (alongside Mustafi) which will be helpful in limiting Swansea attacking forays in transition.

Koscielny’s ability to come up with goals when it matters the most can be interesting for the visiting Arsenal side just like in the Southampton game earlier in the season where he got Arsenal back on level terms with a brilliant strike that any striker will be proud of as the Gunners came back into the game for good to seal a late win via the penalty spot from Santi Cazorla.

Obiweluozo Martins

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